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 baby sloth named Edward after his impressive Edward Scissorhands-like claws is being hand-reared with the help of a special teddy bear.
Families spend nearly three quarters of a million in a lifetime in tax, according to figures released by the Taxpayers Alliance.
An anti-aircraft gun last used in the First World War to repel a German Zeppelin raid is to fire again after 100 years.