Environment Secretary Paterson: answers demanded on flood insurance and defence

28 November 2012

Recent flooding across the UK has raised questions on the effectiveness of the Government’s flood policies. The Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee has written to the Minister to demand answers on what DEFRA is doing to ensure that communities are adequately protected from flood risk and that householders can continue to secure affordable insurance against flood damage.

Publishing the letter, EFRA Committee Chair Anne McIntosh MP said,

"We want clear answers on a number of key issues. We need an update on progress towards providing insurance to properties at flood risk once the Statement of Principles ends in 2013. It is extremely worrying to read press reports of an impasse and it is essential that the Government resolves this situation quickly so that households and businesses are not left stranded without flood insurance.


The Minister must also confirm whether recent decisions about funding for flood defence schemes left any communities more exposed to flood risk than under the previous arrangements.


We also want DEFRA to explain how it is liaising with DCLG to ensure effective planning measures to prevent building in flood-prone areas and how relevant capital expenditure (under the Bellwin Scheme administered by the Department for Transport) is being provided to repair bridges and roads damaged by floods,"

adds Anne McIntosh.

The Committee has also requested

  • An assessment of the extent to which both the Environment Agency and Local Authorities are ensuring that ordinary and main watercourses are properly maintained, including through dredging.
  • Information about how and when the Government intends  to implement sustainable drainage provisions and other measures still outstanding under the 2010 Floods and Water Management Act.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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