Funding for floods discriminates against rural areas, says CLA in the North

07 February 2013

Defra's £2.3billion investment in flood risk management continues to discriminate against rural areas in the North at risk of flooding, the CLA has claimed.

The Association said many rural areas in the region would see little benefit from the new partnership funding approach under the capital budget and that savage cuts to the Environment Agency's (EA) maintenance budget of £50million would mean more areas were at risk of flooding.

CLA North Director of Policy and Public Affairs Douglas Chalmers said: "The new funding process has failed to deliver a complete overhaul of prioritisation techniques, cost benefit valuations and discounting assumptions for land.

"Placing limited value on agricultural land and buildings compared to more urban residential properties limits the scope for establishing commercially viable rural flood defence projects."

He added: "The Government must redress the balance by reviewing the process alongside rewriting the Treasury Green Book guidance in relation to flooding."

Mr Chalmers said he was encouraged by the EA commitment now to allow farmers and land managers to undertake maintenance work when the Agency is unable to do so.