Flood defences

  • Flood defence spending ‘faces 27% cut’ – The Observer, 21 Nov 2010
  • David Cameron forced into U-turn on flood defence spending cuts – The Guardian, 30 Nov 2012

In November 2010, it was revealed flood defence spending faced a ’27 per cent cut’.

The Observer reported:

“The department for the environment has said that funding over the next four years would be “just 8% less than our average yearly spend”.

But Lord Smith, the chairman of the Environment Agency, told the Observer that flood defence spending would be “cut in cash terms [by] about 27% and that will happen immediately”.

Smith said: “There will be communities that would – if funding had remained in place as at present – be starting flood defence work in a year or two years’ time that will now be delayed.”

Today, David Cameron u-turned on cuts to flood defences, The Guardian reporting:

The devastating flooding across Britain has forced David Cameron into a partial U-turn on deep cuts in flood defence spending, with the provision of an extra £120m.

The funding will allow 50 delayed schemes to go ahead, ministers said, but hundreds of projects remain without financial support. The Guardian has also learned that cuts are forcing the Environment Agency to stop or reduce the maintenance of some schemes…

The Environment Agency’s chairman, Lord Smith, said: “Recent events have reminded us forcibly of how traumatic the impact of flooding can be on people and businesses. This new funding is therefore extremely welcome.”

As Mary Creagh, Labour’s shadow environment secretary, said:

“This year’s floods have shown how shortsighted the government was to cut investment in flood defences. Even after today’s mini U-turn the government will still be spending less on flood defences next year than in 2008.”

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