Statistics watchdog: 'Flood defence spending cut by £247m'

The head of the UK's statistics watchdog has contradicted the Government's claim on record levels of spending on flood defences and called for official figures to be published "in the public interest", the Guardian reports.

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Engineers call for rise in flood management budget

Government spending on flood risk management should increase in next month's budget, a leading engineering organisation has said.

The Institution of Civil Engineers said the Environment Agency's annual maintenance budget for flood defences had fallen by 39.2 per cent from more than £100 million in 2010/11 to just £60.7 million in 2014/15.

Flooding severely affected parts of the UK this winter. Credit: PA Wire

The ICE called on the Chancellor George Osborne to return capital and maintenance investment in flood risk management to pre-2010 levels in real terms, after claiming the Prime Minister's recent announcement of £130 million for emergency repairs and maintenance was not enough.

David Cameron has previously said "money is no object" to help those affected by the recent floods.

Ministers should commit to a longer-term investment programme for flood defences beyond the current five-year programme, to provide the certainty needed to improve flood resilience, the organisation added.

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