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Government to invest £5.2bn in long-term plan to tackle flooding

The Government has announced a £5.2bn long-term plan to tackling flooding today (July 14) which will see up to 336,000 properties in England better protected.

Around 2,000 new flood and coastal defences are set to be created by 2027, as well as support for households and businesses to recover more quickly after a flood.

Included in the multi billion pound package is a £200m investment to develop innovative projects such as sustainable drainage system and nature-based solutions – providing a defence against flooding while boosting wildlife.

£170m will accelerate work on shovel-ready flood defence schemes, that will begin construction in 2020 or 2021 in 22 areas across the country.

The five key commitments set out in today’s long-term plan are:

Upgrading and expanding flood defences and infrastructure, managing the flow of water, harnessing the power of nature for reduced flood risk and environmental benefits, better preparation for communities and delivering comprehensive local plans for dealing with flooding to every area of England.

Changes to the joint Government and insurance industry scheme will also be made, to include flood resilience measures allowing households to benefit from lower premiums.

Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, said:

“For every £1 spent improving protection from flooding and coastal erosion, we avoid around £5 of property damages. The long-term commitments announced today will make homes, businesses and infrastructure more resilient to the accelerating impacts of the climate crisis.”

Responding to the announcement, Cllr David Renard, Environment spokesman for the Local Government Association, said:

“Flooding can devastate communities, causing enormous disruption to families and businesses, and resulting in huge clean-up bills, so this funding is good news and will support protection work by councils to prepare for heavy rainfalls.

“Funding for flood defences needs to be devolved to local areas to ensure money is directed towards projects that best reflect local needs, which includes protecting key roads and bridges to keep local residents and businesses moving.

“It is good that flood defence construction schemes will be fast-tracked, and while the Bellwin scheme for emergency flood relief funding is vital for councils, it often doesn’t cover the clean-up costs. Councils need to be able to access funding for these purposes, more easily and more quickly.

"The Government also needs to further incentivise firms to make contributions for flood defences and introduce mandatory anti-flood requirements for new homes in building regulations.”

LISTEN: Ep. 20 Celebrating leadership through a crisis - Cllr Sarah Rouse


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