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Environment Agency must have flood cash

Environment Agency funding should not be cut to finance local authority work to deal with surface water flood risk, government flooding advisor Sir Michael Pitt said last week.

New government proposals put the Environment Agency in charge of coordinating surface water flood management, with local authorities taking the lead on the ground, echoing Pitt’s own proposals (News last week).

Although environment minister Phil Woolas said he would be "very surprised" if local authorities asked for more money to deal with surface water flooding, Pitt seemed to suggest that they and the Agency needed more cash.

"There are separate funding options available to local authorities and to the Environment Agency, and the one should not impact on the other," said Pitt as he launched his Lessons Learned review of last summer’s floods.

A greater challenge would be to attract people into engineering to do the work, he said.

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