David Davis emphasises the need for better flood defences


As reported in the Goole Times:
MP repeats call for extra flooding cash

Howdenshire MP David Davis has repeated the call for a special government settlement for flood protection work in the Humber region.

It comes after a National Audit Office report found that resources for enhancing and maintaining flood defences are “limited” and “insufficient”.

Mr Davis said: “This absolutely reinforces the case we have been making for a special settlement to fund the Humber Strategy (an Environment Agency plan for managing flood risk in the area).

“After the Thames Estuary there is no greater risk from flooding than on the Humber. A total of £33bn worth of economic assets and future investment is threatened, including more than a quarter of the country’s oil refining capacity and the biggest port complex in the UK.

“Most importantly, 260,000 people living in the area depend on effective defences.

“The Humber Strategy is clearly cost effective, but the system used to allocate funding is preventing these vital defences from being built. The only way this will work is through a special settlement from the Treasury.

“Doing nothing will pose a serious risk to both lives and property. We have called on the government to undertake a strategic action to defend the Humber. This report reinforces that call.”
But responding to the National Audit Office’s (NAO) claims, the government’s Flooding Minister Dan Rogerson said: “The NAO has drawn conclusions on funding based on inappropriate comparisons.
“We have invested £3.2bn in flood management and defences over the course of this Parliament, which is a real-term increase and half a billion more than in the previous Parliament. This has allowed us to protect 165,000 families and households in vulnerable areas.

“Not only are we spending more than ever before, but we are also ensuring our investment strategy will deliver long-term value for money. Next month we will set out the first ever six-year programme – which will protect another 300,000 homes by the end of the decade.”