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Dan Rogerson writes: We are determined to further reduce the risk of flooding

November 4, 2014 11:22 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Today (Tuesday, November 4), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has published a document outlining the funding allocation for Lead Local Flood Authorities to carry out their new duties under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.

Liberal Democrat Flooding Minister, Dan Rogerson has written the following article about the steps being taken to reduce the risk of flooding in the UK.

"Last winter's floods were unprecedented. We experienced the wettest winter in 200 years and my sympathies continue to go out to all those who were affected, especially to those that are still not able to go home.

"Throughout the floods I visited many parts of the UK to see first-hand the devastation that it caused and while you would think that the overriding memory would be the sheer level of destruction it was not.

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"While those images will never fade, what really struck me was the bravery and resilience that people demonstrated. From individual homeowners and volunteers to the Environment Agency and emergency services, what I saw was truly heroic. That is something that I can honestly say that I will never forget.

"Since then the Government has led a major recovery effort to help people get back on their feet. We put in place funding so that businesses and homeowners who experienced flooding can get the help they need to help protect their properties in the future.

"We also made £270m available to repair and maintain any flood defences that were impacted last winter to make sure they are ready, should they be needed again to protect homes and businesses.

"Following these extensive repairs, flood protection has now been restored to all homes and businesses that were affected by last winter's floods - on time and on budget. And the dredging on the Somerset Levels has been completed.

"Nevertheless, we can't control the weather or stop flooding altogether. But we are determined to reduce the risk further and provide better protection for people's homes, farms and businesses across the country.

"With winter on its way, we need local authorities to play their part in this and ensure they are fully prepared to respond and give clear advice to residents and businesses on how to plan for emergencies.

"This will ensure that the £3.2bn we are spending on flood defences is matched by flood relief efforts and emergency planning on the ground.

"To achieve this, I want to see local authorities develop local flood risk strategies to ensure they are prepared to deal with the risk of flooding. In the meantime, we are working to make it easier for local authorities and communities to take their own action to reduce flood risk, enabling them to take charge.

"My goal has always been to ensure that we provide better protection against flooding and I am delighted that we are well on our way to providing that assurance to at least 465,000 households by 2021.

"But providing better protection from floods must be a joint effort between government and local partners on the ground. It cannot be dictated from Westminster.

"With local partners at the helm of flood preparedness, coupled with the Government's record level of investment in flood defences, we will be better equipped to deal with the risk of flooding this winter and beyond."