The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has admitted his department "has had to make efficiencies" after the Environment Agency confirmed that it is making 1,550 redundancies, but said that frontline services will be protected:
Owen Paterson admits his dept (DEFRA) "has had to made efficiencies" and the "intention" of Env Agency boss is to protect frontline services
Owen Paterson: Env Agency chief assures me he will carry those out with the intention of protection frontline services concerned with floods
Paterson: "this govt is spending more on flood defences" <<Capital spend maybe but not flood maintenance budgets - down by £11m
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As well as preparing his speech the Chancellor had spent some time preparing his gags, one of which included a prop.
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