Today the government published its 6 year programme of flood defence investment, allocating £2.3bn over 1400 projects in a bid to protect 300,000 homes.
This vital investment is necessary to avoid repeats of the damage caused by severe flooding in January and February this year, with aims of preventing £30bn of damage.
Targeting those areas most vulnerable to flooding, plans include investment in:
The Thames Estuary (£196m)
Humber Estuary (£80m)
Boston in Lincolnshire (£73m)
Rossall in Lancashire (£47m)
Tonbridge area (£17m)
On top of the £2.3bn, the government has committed to spending £15.5m on flood defences in Somerset over the next six years benefiting 7,000 properties.
Whilst these new plans are welcomed, there remain concerns that still not enough is being done to maintain existing defences despite £171m being allocated for this.
Criticism has come from the Committee for Climate Change who remain unconvinced that the UK is adequately prepared for floods as extreme weather incidents become a more frequent occurrence. Reduced numbers of flood risk management staff at the Environment Agency and 4000 new homes a year being built in areas of significant risk all contribute to their growing worry.
To reduce the stress and heartbreak of homeowners suffering flood damage, does the government need to rethink it’s long-term strategy to include adequate spending on regular flood defence maintenance?
Were you flooded at the start of the year? Do you think enough is being done where you are to protect against further floods? Share your thoughts and experiences with us on Facebook.
Further details of governments current flood risk management schemes and strategies https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/flood-risk-management-current-schemes-and-strategies
National Infrastructure Plan 2014