PRESS RELEASE: Response to the NAO report on FCERM spending
The National Flood Forum is deeply disturbed to read the National Audit Office’s report which looked at the current Environment Agency Flood and Coastal Risk Management Strategy.
The NAO report highlights the number of properties to be better protected by the FCERM strategy has dropped by 40% in England. This means that only 200,000 properties will be protected by schemes, rather than the 316,000 forecasted. The report discusses how 500 of 2000 flood protection schemes have been axed and will now not happen.
Tracey Garrett, CEO at the National Flood Forum, said:
“We are very worried about this report. Flooded and at-risk people deserve to have confidence the schemes they have been promised are actually going to happen. Schemes like these offer hope to flooded people and not having clarity will not only mean they continue to live with flooding but can also further increase a community’s stress and worry.
“We are calling for the Government to clarify which schemes will not happen in this current round, how that will be communicated to communities and when flooded people can expect to see these schemes back on the work programme.”
The NAO report suggests that a ‘slow start’ to the current FCERM programme and inflationary pressures are to blame. The report also highlights concerns the Environment Agency have around maintaining existing assets to the highest standards due to budget cuts. Again, flooded people are paying the price for Government underfunding.
Recent storms saw 3000 houses flood, therefore the Government needs to do more not less to protect at risk communities. Now is not the time to take our foot of the accelerator when it comes to protecting communities and flooded people.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Amanda Davies on 01299 403101