Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

£15M flood protection money not enough, says LGA

The government's pledge to give local authorities (LAs) £15M to deal with surface water flooding will not be enough to protect homes and businesses, the Local Government Association (LGA) said yesterday.
The money is part of £34.5M the Environment Agency has to spend on flood risk managament recommendations from the Pitt review. It was already earmarked within the agency's total flood risk management £800M budget to 2010/2011 that was announced in June 2007.

While welcoming the government’s recognition that more resources are needed, chairman of the LGA Environment Board Councillor Paul Bettison said: “The additional £15M that has been allocated between now and 2011 will not be enough to ensure our villages, towns and cities are properly protected.

“More than half of all councils have told the LGA that they do not have sufficient resources to deal with flooding, and their budgets are set to come under further pressure in the coming months.”

Within the government's response to the report, the Environment Agency also outlined the deadlines by which LAs must finalise their surface water management plans (SWMPs). LAs in England will need to meet a deadline of March 2010 while those in Wales have until March 2011.

Consultant Peter Brett Associates will be bidding for some of this work and its director of water management Jonathon Reed said: "It will be challenging to complete SWMPs in this timescale but should be feasible for a small number of priority sites, particularly if the relevant stakeholders are already engaged."

Speaking to NCE, Environment Agency head of flood and coastal management David Rooke said that the SWMPs will help clarify who is responsible for surface water flood protection schemes and ensure these are dealt with by the appropriate party – whether that is the water companies, highways authorities, private owners or LAs.

Additional concerns were also raised yesterday regarding the government's failure to directly address the issue of skills shortages and poor pay for flood engineers in the public sector.

ICE director general Tom Foulkes said that the funding does not "directly address the long term problem of the shortage of engineers available to deliverer flood risk management", adding: "Secure, long-term funding is vital across the board and we must now ensure there is no return to stop-start funding, which has undermined industry confidence and reduced skills investment.

“The UK must learn to live with flooding and work to manage the risk whilst accepting we cannot eliminate it. Engineers and other professionals have a big part to play in making towns and cities more resilient to flooding, and especially in protecting critical national infrastructure.”

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.