Yesterday Prime Minister David Cameron announced a package of more than £40m to rebuild and improve flood defences in the aftermath of Storm Eva. And he pledged the government would support charities helping those caught up in the Boxing Day deluge by matching every pound of the first £2m raised.
The cash takes investment in recovery from Storm Eva and Storm Desmond to nearly £200m. The package is now set to be extended with grants to reimburse fire and rescue authorities that have incurred excessive costs protecting flooded communities. Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I have seen at first-hand the devastation caused by flooding. And that’s why this work to repair and improve flood defences is so vital.
“We are already spending £280m over the next 6 years to protect thousands of houses from flooding in Yorkshire as part of our £2.3bn investment to protect 300,000 houses across the country.”
“But now more than £40m will be spent to fix those defences overwhelmed by the record rainfall we’ve seen in recent weeks and to make them more resilient to further bad weather.”
Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Guy Shrubsole said: “The Government is behind the game on flood defence spending – and dragging its heels on the action needed to tackle climate change, which is super-charging our weather. The Government’s review of flood resilience must take full account of the latest climate change projections, with spending increased in line with them.
“We should also be working with nature when it comes to dealing with flooding – such as not building on flood plains and allowing rivers to meander – rather than against it.
“Extreme weather events are predicted to happen far more frequently as climate change takes hold. Ministers must abandon their support for dirty fossil fuels and champion the clean energy revolution we urgently need.”