Welsh authorities seek to highlight flood spend

With flooding an ever-increasingly concern for the public, authorities in Wales have been pushing the boat out when it comes to publicising a surge in funding to reduce the risk to homes and property.

The Environment Agency's committee for flood risk management in Wales heard this week how spending on capital projects has increased four-fold over the past eight years.

In the financial year 2001/02 the Welsh Assembly Government allocated £4 million towards flood protection schemes.

Next year that figure will be close to £16 million. This commitment of cash has also allowed the assembly to tap into European funding approaching £30 million.

Schemes being considered for funding as part of the package are for the Conwy Valley, Clwyd Estuary, Afon Gele, Valley Tidal Doors, Afon Wnion and Tregaron. Other schemes are also being put forward by local authorities.

Geraint Davies, chairman of the flood risk management Wales committee said: "The fourfold increase in funding for flood defence schemes across Wales demonstrates a clear recognition from the Welsh Assembly Government that we must adapt Wales now to the flood impacts of climate change.

"Our investment helps communities manage the increasing risk from flooding due to climate change. We can't eliminate risk so alongside growing investment renewed efforts are being made to ensure people know the risks they face and the action they should take in preparation for future flooding."

Environment Agency Wales director Chris Mills added: "We are very pleased that the Welsh Assembly Government has managed to secure extra funding to support efforts to reduce the risk of flooding in Wales.

"This will enable us to continue to provide even more protection to many communities which are vulnerable to the increasing threat of flooding."

"We will also be able to improve our flood forecasting by taking advantage of the most advanced technology so that we can issue warnings to people at risk of flooding which are as specific and accurate as possible."

David Gibbs



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