Govt 'woefully slow' on flooding

MPs have criticised the Government at being too slow in bringing in measures that will protect homes and businesses from the impact of flooding in a report prepared in response to the draft Water Bill.

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'Basic' flooding measures have not been put in place

Today MPs will criticise the government's response to the flood threat, saying that not enough has been done to combat the devastating effects of flooding around the country.

Anne McIntosh, chair of the Food and Rural Affairs select committee, told ITV Daybreak that since the floods of 2007, there is now a higher risk of flooding.

She added that even the most basic of flood defences have not been enforced.

Government: £2.3bn is being invested in flood defences

Water Minister Richard Benyon welcomes the draft Bill and says the Government is investing £2.3 billion on building flood defences.

He said: "As unpredictable rainfall and population growth puts an increased pressure on our water supplies we need a water industry that is fit for the 21st century.

Water Minister Richard Benyon. Credit: Press Assocation

"This Bill will ensure our water supplies remain affordable, resilient and sustainable for the future."

He also said that the vast majority of the recommendations in the Pitt Review into the devastating 2007 floods had been implemented, making the country better prepared than ever to cope with flooding.

"We are doing all we can to protect homes and businesses from flooding, we are investing over £2.3 billion on building flood defences and expect to exceed our target to protect a further 145,000 properties by 2015," he said.

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MPs: Ministers too slow on flood defence measures

MPs have criticised the Government at being too slow in bringing in measures that will protect homes and businesses from the impact of flooding.

The Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee said the draft Water Bill would help increase competition in the provision of water supplies for customers.

MPs have criticised the Government at being too slow on implementing flood defence measures. Credit: Press Association

But ministers are not showing enough urgency in implementing measures that will improve the country's resilience to flooding and drought, the MPs said.

A report from the committee criticised the failure to create sustainable drainage systems to prevent flooding from surface water, through measures such as stopping people laying impermeable surfaces in back gardens and businesses.

And ministers are taking too long over moves to improve the safety of reservoirs at risk of flooding, the report on the draft Water Bill said.

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