Environment secretary Caroline Spelman said £21 million worth of grants would be available to councils to help them protect and support their community when managing flood risk.

The government say these funds will ‘fully cover’ the costs for local authorities of putting into place and carrying out new responsibilities under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.

Under the act measures include flood mapping, producing risk management plans and supporting community flood awareness groups.

The funds have been allocated based on the individual risk that each local authority has. Funding for 2011/12 will total £21 million rising to £36million for 2012/13 and subsequent years of the current Spending Review period.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said:”This money will go a long way to help local flood authorities identify and deal with the risk of flooding in their own communities.

Each local authority can decide where the money will be of most use – it could be used to pay members of staff, to come up with plans of dealing with surface water flooding or for generally work with the public on how best to deal with flooding.”

Each lead local flood authority will receive around £110,000.

Funding is provided as part of the minimum of £2.1 billion the Government expects to spend on flood and coastal erosion risk management by 2015.

Responses to this news following yesterday’s critical cross party Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee report remain to be seen.

Alison Brown

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