The Conservative floods minister has slammed the government’s progress in implementing Sir Michael Pitt’s recommendations following his report into the devastating 2007 floods, but said a Floods Bill was not certain in the first Queen’s Speech under David Cameron.
Shadow floods minister Anne McIntosh said: “One year on from Pitt and the consultation on the draft Floods Bill closed in July. It will be mid November before we know whether a real Bill will be programmed into the remaining months [in the Queen’s Speech].
“Pitt set out 92 recommendations, and of them only 16 have been completed in full, 26 in part and 44 not at all.
“14 do rely on primary legislation in a Floods Bill to proceed,” she said.
Last week flooding minister Huw Irranca-Davies said the Bill may not make the Queen’s Speech in the coming session but an ‘emergency’ bill could be passed to give specific bodies responsibility for flood water.
But NCE has learned that if a full Bill does not pass into the coming session of parliament, it is by no means certain in the first session of a Cameron government either - potentially delaying the Bill by two years.
“I am bidding for that [Parliamentary time] but there is a strong case to make,” she said, adding that an ‘emergency’ Bill to rush through would be supported. “But the things that can be put through should be. We need a tight Bill to give the recommendations teeth,” she said.
McIntosh said the government’s response to Pitt, in giving responsibility to the Environment Agency and Local Authorities was troubling because: “A lot of the budget comes from existing resources. I think we need to look at this.”