Select committee asks for more evidence as scrutiny of government’s flooding strategy continues

PUBLISHED: 08:00 23 July 2020 | UPDATED: 15:13 23 July 2020

Neil Parish. Ref mhh 48 19TI 0358. Picture: Terry Ife

Neil Parish. Ref mhh 48 19TI 0358. Picture: Terry Ife

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Tiverton and Honiton MP Neil Parish has called on the government to provide evidence to his committee’s inquiry into flooding.

Mr Parish chairs the The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) which has asked for further evidence from the government as the committee continues an inquiry into flooding to help MPs fully scrutinise the effectiveness of the current approaches to flood risk..

Last week, the government unveiled a £5.2 billion plan to tackle flooding which would see 336,00 properties in England better protected by 2027.

The EFRA committee has set the government a deadline of Friday, August 28 to answer seven questions, including how the new strategy will meet the challenge posed by climate change, how housing can be made more resilient to flooding, and whether the current arrangements for flooding in England are effective.

Mr Parish said: “Last Tuesday’s evidence session underlined the shift in focus over the near-decade since the Environment Agency’s last strategy.

“As devastating floods as recently as this March have shown us, the immediate effects of climate change are becoming ever more real.

“The Environment Agency told us that Government policy will have to adapt faster than the climate crisis progresses. There is clearly much to be thoroughly investigated over the course of our flooding inquiry. In order to do justice to all of us who have been - or will be- affected by flooding, we are today asking for further evidence to be submitted.”

In March this year, regions across the country were battered by rain caused by successive storms Ciara and Dennis which led to increased flooding.

When the flooding enquiry was first launched in March, Mr Parish said: “Recent extreme weather has wrought devastating damage on peoples’ homes, livelihoods and health.

“Our climate is changing rapidly, and we need to prepare ourselves for what could be a turbulent new normal. That’s why it’s crucial that the Government’s approach to managing flood risk holds up to scrutiny.”

“As the last month has shown us, this isn’t a problem that’s going to go away. Our communities need the necessary support to adapt, so that in the future , those who remain at risk will be better prepared.”


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