Coffey spurns cross party MP criticism of government flood risk management

Environment secretary, Therese Coffey, (pictured) has rejected a call from a cross-party group of MPs for an overhaul of flood risk management.

The House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee had called on Coffey to account for government use of of its £2.5m flood risk management budget. The committee condemned the government’s “fragmented, inefficient and ineffective approaches to flood risk management.”

The committee chair, Neil Parish said “People living in areas of flood risk fear they are only a downpour away from disaster. The government needs to explain to MPs why it has missed valuable opportunities to act in response to a series of major flood reports. Action continues to fall far short of our recommendations".

Responding, Coffey wrote to Parish saying, “We do not agree there is a need for substantial structural change.

“Our approach is to support both a catchment approach to planning and greater use of natural flood management measures alongside hard, engineered defences.” She said the autumn statement, included £15m earmarked for for Natural Flood Management schemes in England and she would provide further details on where that money will be spent “in due course.”