Flood Funding

Supplementary written evidence submitted by LGA

During my recent evidence session with your Committee I undertook to both find further examples of projects where private funding has been leveraged under the new partnership approach for flood defence and to supply figures on the possible costs of extending the Bellwin scheme to cover infrastructure repairs.

In attempting to answer the first question I had anticipated receiving a more comprehensive list of examples from the Environment Agency, but this has not been possible as they are currently working with Defra to compile this data. Nevertheless we have been able to compile the following list with assistance from the Environment Agency:

· Sandwich Tidal Defences in Kent is a £23 million project of which Pfizer contributed £6.5 million.

· Lower Dove Flood Alleviation Scheme in Staffordshire and Derbyshire cost a total £8 million. The private sector contributed £1.65 million, including commitments from Nestle, local landowners and local industry.

· Leeds (Rive Aire) Flood Alleviation Scheme was a £50.5 million project through which Leeds City Council are contributing £10m with a further £5m proposed to be raised from private sources.

· Skipton Flood Alleviation Scheme, North Yorkshire, will cost £9.7 million of which local businesses are contributing £2 million.

The Committee has also asked for further information with regards to the expected costs of extending the Bellwin Scheme to cover capital works, such as roads damage.  To help with this, the LGA has been in contact with the Department for Transport who created the Emergency Capital Highways Maintenance Fund which provided funding for exceptional roads and highways infrastructure damage.  According to the Department for Transport figures, the following exceptional funds were provided to nine local authorities for highway repairs following the floods of 2007:

· March 2008: £23m

· July 2008: £17m

This means that the total claimed cost for repairing this infrastructure was £40 million.

As the LGA’s written evidence also highlights, there are also a number of examples of local authorities currently covering the cost of these infrastructure repairs. Councils’ estimated that the damage to roads and infrastructure from flooding in 2012 ran into several millions. Some indicative examples are:

South Tyneside £2.4 million

Newcastle £7-8 million

Blackburn with Darwen £490,000

Northumberland £1.6 million

Devon £5 million

Moreover, whilst work is continuing in Calderdale to produce a detailed financial impact of 2012 flooding, initial estimates in respect of damage to the highway and associated drainage works are in the region of £10 million. This is in addition to the cost of work that needs to be carried out by Yorkshire Water, the Environment Agency and the Canal and River Trust. Less than £80 thousand of the Council’s costs in responding to the summer floods has been recouped from the Bellwin Scheme.

I hope this information is useful to the Committee’s inquiry.

Cllr Andrew Cooper

Deputy Chair, LGA Environment and Housing Board

February 2013

Prepared 8th March 2013