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Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what account will be taken of representations received on the consultation on restructuring of inland drainage boards in formulating policy on their future structure. 
Jane Kennedy: The internal drainage boards sub catchment review was not a formal consultation, but a direction of travel proposed following an independent report produced in 2006. The independent report outlined the strengths and weaknesses of the current performance of internal drainage boards and made recommendations for future improvements. Currently all representations have either been accepted or are under review with relevant internal drainage boards.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps have been taken to (a) clear ditches, (b) widen and deepen drainage channels and (c) create holding areas for surplus water in periods of heavy rain in the last 12 months. 
Jane Kennedy: The Environment Agency, local authorities and internal drainage boards have all undertaken extensive maintenance operations and capital construction schemes in the past 12 months to secure the efficient working of existing channels and to reduce flood risk through flood alleviation schemes.
Holding areas are one of the many techniques known as Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems. Developers are encouraged to incorporate such systems into new developments. Many Environment Agency flood alleviation schemes also incorporate these techniques in preference to more traditional channel enlargement options.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the number of (a) households, (b) deprived households and (c) rural households at risk from flooding, broken down by local authority area. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 17 September 2008]: The National Flood Risk Assessment undertaken in 2006 by the Environment Agency identified the number of properties in areas that are at risk from flooding across England and Wales. These data were broken down by each local authority. The number of deprived households or rural households at risk in each local authority area was not assessed as part of this work. The flood risk in areas of deprivation was, however, considered in the Environment Agencys research project Addressing Environmental Inequalities: Flood Risk published in March 2006.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what hydrological studies the Environment Agency has initiated to assess future flood risk in Bassetlaw constituency; and when the reports of such studies will be completed. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 6 October 2008]: Following the flooding of June 2007 the Environment Agency commissioned consultants to produce reports about the events that occurred in Worksop and Retford.
Both reports will be used to aid the Environment Agencys understanding of the possible improvements to flood defences on the River Ryton in Worksop and to the Retford Beck in Retford. The Environment Agency has completed the report for Worksop. The study for the Retford Beck will start soon and is due to be completed by the end of March 2009.
In addition to the studies of potential works to reduce flood risk, the Environment Agency has carried out the following mapping studies, which include hydrological analyses, within the Bassetlaw constituency:
River Idle Flood Risk Mapping, March 2005
River Maun, Strategic Flood Risk Mapping, March 2007
River Meden, Strategic Flood Risk Mapping, June 2008
River Ryton, Strategic Flood Risk Mapping, March 2008
Tidal Trent Strategy, April 2005
Laneham Beck Strategic Flood Risk Mapping, 2007
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment the Environment Agency has made of the size and condition of pumping stations in Bassetlaw constituency. 
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will meet the hon. Member for Castle Point and a delegation from the Canvey Island Town Council to discuss the effects on Canvey Island of the Environment Agency's Thames Estuary 2100 proposals. 
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions his Department has had with other Departments on the likely effects of the Environment Agency's Thames Estuary 2100 scheme on Canvey Island's (a) public safety and (b) proposed levels of future building. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 8 October 2008]: Discussions regarding the Thames Estuary 2100 (TS2100) project have been held with the Department for Communities and Local Government through the Thames High Level Steering Group. The Environment Agency's TE2100 project recommends that flood risk is managed to keep pace with rising seas caused by climate change. This work is being undertaken at a strategic level and detailed discussions of public safety on Canvey Island have not yet taken place. Any proposals arising from the TE2100 project will fully address public safety.
Future development on Canvey Island is not a factor that the TE2100 Project has been tasked to consider; this is a matter that the local planning authority will address in drawing up their local development framework. Any future development will need to be strategically assessed for flood risk and therefore in accordance with Planning Policy Statement 25.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what area of land on Canvey Island is being considered for flooding under the Environment Agency's Thames Estuary 2100 scheme. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 8 October 2008]: The Environment Agency's Thames Estuary 2100 (TE2100) project is considering the creation of new inter-tidal habitat on West Canvey Marshes. This is in response to the need to replace the inter-tidal habitats (laid down in the EU habitats directive) that will be lost around Canvey Island as sea levels rise.
This habitat creation would involve a controlled breach of existing flood defences to create new inter-tidal areas. If consultation demonstrated support for such a scheme a new flood defence would need to be constructed to protect people and property. This defence would ensure flood risk is managed to keep pace with rising sea levels.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds on the likely effects of the Environment Agency's Thames Estuary 2100 scheme on sites on Canvey Island. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 8 October 2008]: There has been on-going dialogue between the Environment Agency and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) throughout the development of the Thames Estuary 2100 (TE2100) plan.
The Environment Agency and RSPB have agreed to work together to establish the most effective management of inter-tidal and freshwater habitat on both the south and east coast. TE2100 and RSPB jointly recognise that there needs to be a combination of sustainable inter-tidal and freshwater habitat in the Thames Estuary. Discussion specific to West Canvey Marshes is on-going.
Jane Kennedy: The 2008 harvest has been one of the wettest on record with rainfall around double normal levels. The main impact has been that the harvest has taken much longer than normal to complete, which is likely to have led to higher labour, fuel and machinery costs, particularly where grain has had to be dried. However, cereal yields are reported to be higher than normal. DEFRA will publish farm income figures by farm type at the end of January 2009 which will show the net impact of the weather and other factors on the incomes of cereal and other cropping farms.
Jane Kennedy: While the 2008 harvest was one of the wettest on record, the scale of flooding was not of that seen in 2007 and the overall impact of flooding on arable cropping is not believed to have been significant. DEFRA will publish its first forecast of arable crop production later in October.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make it his policy to ensure that (a) sites of special scientific interest and (b) important wildlife habitats are not destroyed by the implementation of Environment Agency plans to flood areas in the Thames estuary. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The Environment Agency is required by law to protect the environment and promote conservation. The conservation and enhancement of Thames estuary habitats and species are key objectives of the Thames Estuary 2100 (TE2100) project.
Throughout the development of the TE2100 plan the Environment Agency has been in close dialogue with Natural England to ensure the plan is compliant with UK and EU wildlife legislation. Full details of how the wildlife and species of the Thames estuary have been considered in relation to future flood risk management will be contained in the TE2100 consultation plan due to be launched in spring 2009.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of draining systems serving (a) households and (b) businesses in (i) Castle Point and (ii) Canvey Island are privately owned. 
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with Natural England on the requirement to clear and widen watercourses to prevent flooding. 
Jane Kennedy: The Secretary of State meets the Chairman of Natural England, Sir Martin Doughty, on a regular basis, and the subject of flooding and sustainable solutions has been discussed in the light of the Governments review of the 2007 floods. I am not aware that the specific topic of a requirement to clear and widen watercourses has arisen. This is a matter for the Environment Agency and Internal Drainage Boards in their byelaws. Natural England has been working with Internal Drainage Boards to produce The Drainage Channel Biodiversity Manualintegrating wildlife and flood risk management, which was launched at the annual conference and exhibition of the Association of Drainage Authorities on 17 and 18 September.
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what financial support his Department provides to households to assist with measures required to become eligible for flood insurance cover. 
On 30 July 2008 Defra launched a consultation on options to increase the use of property-level measures to mitigate the impacts of flooding for homes that have a high chance of flooding every year. The consultation builds on the grants pilot scheme that Defra recently completed.
Under the Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002, local authorities have some flexibility in providing discretionary assistance for repairs and adaptations. It is for local authorities to decide the circumstances in which to give discretionary assistance and what form that assistance may take (e.g. grants, loans, equity release schemes etc.)
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment the Environment Agency has made of the likelihood of flooding at North Leverton and North Wheatley primary schools. 
The Environment Agency was contacted in July 2007 by MHI Design requesting flood risk information on a number of school sites including North Leverton and North Wheatley. The Environment Agency recommended that robust flood protection measures should be incorporated into any refurbishment of either school, if refurbishment was deemed to be the way forward by the education authority and local authority.
Jane Kennedy: The Environment Agency undertakes regular post flood incident surveys and performance reviews. During the summer 2007 floods, over 80 per cent. of the warnings issued provided at least two hours advance warning. This commitment is stated within the Environment Agencys customer chapter.
The Environment Agency continues to make appropriate investments to improve its flood warning services so that flood warnings will be given in good time to ensure they are acted upon and damage minimised.
Jane Kennedy: The Environment Agency has recently completed a flood risk feasibility report for Worksop. The report looked at the possible use of storage areas for flood water upstream of Worksop as well as flood walls and banks through the town.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how much funding his Department received for the detection and prosecution of fly tipping in each year from 2002 to 2008; and what funding is planned for (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11; 
(2) what proportion of revenue from landfill tax was allocated to the Environment Agency for the detection and prosecution of fly tipping in each year from 2002 to 2008; and what proportion is planned for (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11. 
Jane Kennedy [holding answer 6 October 2008]: The Environment Agency received £2 million per year from 2005-08 under the Business Resource Efficiency and Waste Programme funded by Landfill Tax receipts to tackle illegal waste activity. The focus of these projects was to reduce the level of illegal dumping and improve the detection of offenders.
This programme has been extended and is now funded through the Resource Efficiency and Carbon Programme £1.5 million has been allocated for 2008-09 and 2009-10. Funding for 2010-11 has yet to be determined.
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