|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was spent on flood protection measures in (a) England, (b) Yorkshire and the Humber and (c) city of York in each year since 2003-04. 
Mr. Woolas: The Environment Agency is the principal authority with responsibility for flood risk management in England. Details of their spending on flood protection measures in (a) England, (b) Yorkshire and the Humber and (c) city of York in each year since 2003-04 are set out in the following tables.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what the expected total expenditure was when the scheme was approved of each (a) capital and (b) resource expenditure flood defence project (i) under way and (ii) completed in the last two years, at 2007 prices; and
what the final total expenditure was or expenditure to date has been on each scheme at 2007 prices; 
(2) what the expected total expenditure on each coastal defence project (a) under way and (b) completed in the last two years was when the scheme was approved, at 2007 prices; and what the final total or expenditure to date has been on each scheme at 2007 prices. 
Mr. Woolas: I regret that it is not possible to provide the information requested in the usual timescale given the date baseline. I shall write to you as soon as possible and a copy of my reply will be placed in the House Library.
Over recent years, total investment in flood and coastal defence has increased significantly in real terms. For example, the Environment Agency completed 220 capital improvement projects to reduce flood risk from rivers and the sea between 2003-04 and 2006-07, and 129,000 households have benefited from this work.
Mr. Woolas: The following table shows (a) gross flood risk management expenditure by the Environment Agency in the South West Region, administered through their South West and Wessex Regional Flood Defence Committees and (b) DEFRA funding for local authority capital improvement projects to reduce flood and coastal erosion risk in the same area.
|Financial year||Environment Agency||Local authority|
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with (a) local authorities and (b) the Environment Agency on drawing up a list of buildings which house groups of vulnerable people to be prioritised for rescue when flooding occurs in Tewkesbury constituency; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: Under central guidance on the requirements of the Civil Contingencies Act, 2004, it is the responsibility of all the statutorily designated Category 1 responders, including local authorities, emergency services, primary care trusts and the Environment Agency to identify and make plans to assist vulnerable people in any emergency.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was spent (a) in England and (b) in the Ouse catchment area on flood protection and alleviation measures by (i) the Government, (ii) City of York council and (iii) North Yorkshire county council in 2006-07; and what estimate he has made of the likely expenditure in 2007-08. 
Mr. Woolas: Defra funds most of the Environment Agency's flood related work and grant aids individual capital improvement projects undertaken by local authorities and, in low-lying areas, internal drainage boards (IDBs). The programme to manage risk is driven by these operating authorities. Defra does not build defences nor direct the authorities on specific projects to undertake.
Local authority non-capital expenditure (on levies to the Agency and IDBs and on their own spend on flood risk management) is largely supported by the local government funding mechanisms operated by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG).
Table 1 shows total central and local government expenditure on flood protection and alleviation measures in (a) England and (b) the Ouse catchment area. This includes expenditure on flood defences, flood warning, research and development etc. but excludes expenditure on measures primarily to reduce risk of coastal erosion (which can also sometimes help reduce flood risk).
|(a) England||(b) Ouse catchment( 1)|
|Defra grant and other expenditure||Local authority non-capital expenditure|
|(1) Defined as Environment Agency expenditure within the Ouse catchment between the confluence with the River Ure and the confluence with the River Derwent. Defra grant to local authorities and/or internal drainage boards within the Ouse catchment, if any, could not be determined without incurring disproportionate cost.|
|Flood defence revenue expenditure||IDB special levies|
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 16 July 2007, Official Report, column 10W, how his Department defines significant flooding. 
Mr. Woolas: I refer the hon. Members to the statement given by the Secretary of State on 12 July 2007; Official Report, column 63WS, in which he announced that we are establishing a review to identify the lessons that need to be learned about how to manage and respond to this type of event in the future.
I also refer the hon. Members to the answer given by the Secretary of State of 19 July 2007, Official Repor t, column 422, in which he explained that we have lifted the rules on cross-compliance and waterlogged land until the end of this month. This will enable farmers to get on to the land and do what they can to rescue their crops. By notifying the Rural Payments Agency, they are able to use set-aside land for grazing and foraging, unless the agency says there is a difficulty, in recognition of the fact that the land they would otherwise use is currently underwater.
Compensation will not be available for farmers who have lost crops as a result of the recent flooding. Farmers who have taken out insurance for such damage should, of course, make a claim against their policy. We have great sympathy for those who are uninsured but there is no general right to compensation, since that would undermine the decision of those who did take out insurance and in the longer term undermine the competitive insurance market in this area that the UK currently benefits from. The Government are keen to help farmers manage risk more thoroughly themselves as part of establishing a more market focused farm industry.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many homes there are (a) in designated development sites in each standard region, (b) in such sites that are situated in floodplains and (c) in such sites in significant flood risk areas; and if he will make a statement. 
I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Member for Pontefract and Castleford (Yvette Cooper) to the hon. Member for Shrewsbury and Atcham (Daniel Kawczynski) on 8 January 2007, Official Report, column 369W, and the answer I provided on 24 July 2007, Official Report, column 945W.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received from the insurance industry on the number of homes considered to be uninsurable due to high risk of flooding; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: The Association of British Insurers (ABI) wrote to the Secretary of State on 28 June. In their letter, the ABI stressed that insurers want to continue offering cover to nearly all households, but highlighted concerns about the level of risk for at least 400,000 homes in England. The letter reiterated calls for investment in flood management to rise to £750 million per annum by 2011 and the ABI has since welcomed the announcement that Government funding will increase beyond this levelto £800 million by 2010-11.
Along with other ministerial colleagues, I met representatives of the ABI on 10 July to discuss the implications of the flooding that occurred in June. At the meeting, the ABI stressed its commitment to the existing Statement of Principles for insurance cover and, in particular, the continuing availability of cover in high-risk locations where defences are planned. Officials are continuing to share information and work with the ABI, and we understand that ABI members are continuing to provide flood cover as standard to virtually all households.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the procedure is for signing up to receive flood warnings from the Environment Agency; and whether it is free to use. 
Mr. Woolas: Anyone who thinks they may be at risk of flooding can call the Environment Agencys Floodline to find out if they are eligible to register for free flood warnings. Flood warnings can be received by telephone, mobile, fax or pager.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received on recruiting voluntary wardens to distribute flood warnings in person. 
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|