Funding For Flooding

The governmental division in charge of dealing with problems pertaining to flooding is the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and they have released preliminary information concerning spending over the next four years. Though exact budgets are yet to be finalised, the ultimate amount to be allocated to flooding and coastal erosion is predicted to be at least £2.16 billion (equating to an average of £540 million per year). In past years, DEFRA has invested some £50 million more each year in dealing with flooding related problems, however in the current economic climate they are being forced to make huge cuts (as have numerous other government departments).

Forecasted figures are roughly 8% less than the £590 million pa (invested over the last four years) with savings being offset by “efficiencies within delivery and procurement, and better risk-based prioritisation”. These techniques come in response to the October Spending Review in 2010, where by government departments have been made to resolve spending budgets until 2014-2015. In the last 4 years DEFRA claims to have surpassed the projected target of increasing flood protection for 145,000 houses (estimating that the final figure would be nearer to 170,000 properties with better safety) through the work carried out by the Environment Agency and other operating authorities.

An identic same target (145,000 properties) is set for the next 4 years, although meeting this may not be so simple with a reduced budget. The approximated £2.1 billion is going to be divided into £1 billion in working capital (at approximately £261 million pa) and £1.1 to be spent on resources. Resources consist of maintenance of existing defences, flood forecasting ability and incident response development; creating ‘programme’ spending. The expenses also cover ‘admin’ paying for staff as well as office operation. DEFRA also states that it “remains dedicated to fully funding local authority new burdens under the Flood and Water Management Act”.

DEFRA plans to provide as much as £36 million pa to lead local flood authorities, although in 2011-2012 the amount is going to be nearer to £21 million during ‘phasing in’. Local authorities spending is also sustained by formula grant from the Department for Communities and Local Government, and between ’08 and ’11, the £2.15 billion invested included around £280 million in contributions from local governments. Formula grant and area based grant are being left to local authorities to choose how it is spent and allocated locally, within the limitations of overall limits on local budgets and possible need to invest in other local priorities.

When it comes to floods, preparation must begin at home. Making homes and businesses individually flood resilient or resistant is a smart precaution for a property owner to take. Even with millions of pounds being ploughed into flood defence on a national scale, no guarantees are given by the government that you will be protected should flooding arise. Taking precautionary measures to make your property less prone to flood damage is not just going to enable you to protect your home and your household, however will likely contribute to obtaining a lower insurance policy rate.

Source by Zoe Restick

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