Efra MPs Question Plans to Attract Private Floods Funding

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (Efra) has queried the Government’s plan to attract £600 million from external funders to bolster flood defences. The cross-party parliamentary Committee has pointed to the low levels of private funding attracted to date as a cause for concern about ambitious future plans.

Committee Chair, Anne McIntosh MP commented:

“The Government has committed £2.3 billion in capital funding for six years’ investment aimed at protecting 300,000 properties, but that plan relies on external contributions of £600 million.

We support the principle that the private sector should help to fund new flood defence schemes, but we have repeatedly expressed concern about the relatively small amounts of private sector funding secured to date under the Partnership Funding approach, with only £40 million of the £148 million secured up to 2014-15 coming from sources beyond local government.

It is unclear how the £600 million target can be met, and we want Defra to demonstrate how it intends to obtain that money and to explain the impact on its investment programme if the money does not come forward.”

In its report on Defra Performance in 2013-14, the Committee also repeats its call on Government to move to a total expenditure classification for flood risk management and flags that revenue funding would benefit from a six-year funding commitment alongside capital. The Committee believes revenue and capital spending must be balanced to ensure both receive the same priority.

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