£34m to help prevent repeat of summer flooding

A significant slice of funding allocated for the prevention of flooding and coastal erosion in the UK will be ploughed into measures designed to prevent a repeat of the chaos last summer.

Summer 2007 saw some of the worst flooding in living memory for many parts of the UK.

Following the devastation, an independent review led by Sir Michael Pitt outlined a series of urgent measures to reduce the impact of future flooding.

This week Environment Secretary Hilary Benn announced that £34.5m of the £2.15bn earmarked for flood prevention over the next three years will be used to implement Pitt’s recommendations.

He also said that the Environment Agency will receive the remaining £1.8 billion over the same period and will be responsible for allocating this funding across all Operating Authorities which includes local authorities, Internal Drainage Boards as well as the Agency itself.

The EA will also be expected to oversee the programme of works to deliver a range of tougher targets for new and improved defences and projects.

Hilary Benn said: “The devastation that was caused by the unprecedented level of rainfall this summer has shown us the awful and lasting impact flooding can have on communities.

“If we are to learn the lessons and reduce the impact of future flooding on this scale, we have much work to do.

“I have accepted the urgent recommendations outlined in Sir Michael Pitt’s interim report, but there will be still more to consider when he publishes his final report, later on this year.

“This is why I have set aside an initial £34.5 million of funding, in anticipation of the work that his final recommendations may ask for.”

Sam Bond

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