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Industry welcomes extra flood defence cash

FLOOD ENGINEERS this week welcomed news that flood defence spending is to be boosted to from £114M to £150M a year by 2005.

ICE past president George Fleming, who helped produce a government report into flood defences called Learning to live with rivers (NCE 8 November 2001), said: 'It's a very good thing, as it's the minimum of what the insurance industry wanted to help reduce the risks to householders.'

Environment Agency chief Barbara Young said the extra cash would address past underinvestment and enable the Agency to accelerate flood defence schemes.

But she warned that responsibilities for flood defences must now be simplified to ensure the cash is spent wisely.

Currently the Agency, drainage boards and local councils all have responsibility for different aspects of flood defence, leading to confusion and lack of integration.

The government said this week that it was working on new funding mechanisms and simpler administration of flood defences and would publish its reforms in the autumn.

INFOPLUS www. defra. gov. uk

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