The chairwoman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Efra) parliamentary committee, Anne McIntosh, has said that the recent flooding reinforces her concerns about Defra's ability to cope on a smaller budget:
Defra is a small ministry facing massive budget cuts and which relies on a large number of arms-length bodies to deliver many significant areas of policy.
Ministers must clarify how further budget cuts over £300 million over the next ... two years will impact on the funding provided to these agencies and the ability of the department to respond to emergencies ...
Recent flooding events over the Christmas and New Year period reinforce the Committee's concerns about cuts to the Defra budget and how these will be realised.
More top news
A headteacher has reportedly warned "snowplough" parents are so over-protective that their children end up unable to deal with failure.
The largest horse chestnut tree in the country declared as the 300-year-old specimen at the estate where PM Benjamin Disraeli once lived.
The fanfare and fireworks at Tattersalls in Newmarket on Friday failed to materialise as three Frankel foals met with differing fortunes