Flood defence cuts blamed for leaving homes in peril
A ROW broke out last night over accusations that flood defence projects were cancelled because of government cutbacks, as Britain remained on alert following more heavy rain.
The Environment Agency (EA) defended the UK government’s investment in flood defences after a newspaper claimed that nearly 300 such schemes had been left unbuilt.
The paper, which analysed EA documents, said 294 projects that had indicative funding in 2010 to begin work in the following two years have not received any money.
The finding comes after government advisers warned last week that a £1 billion funding gap was opening up between what is needed to keep properties protected in the face of climate change and what is being spent on flood defences over the next few years.
Yesterday, Charles Tucker, of the National Flood Forum, said: “The fact is that spending has decreased while flooding has increased. Spending on flooding is clearly not enough.”
However, the EA said 364 new flood risk management schemes had been completed in the last three years and its chief executive, Paul Leinster, defended the government’s track record, saying: “There will always be more schemes proposed than funds available and no-one can prevent flooding entirely.”
The Midlands, East Anglia and Powys in Wales have borne the brunt of the latest bout of stormy weather and there were still 15 EA flood alerts in place across the country yesterday.
Unfinished flood defences were breached in Edinburgh last week following torrential downpours but there are currently no flood alerts or warnings for Scotland. The weather today is expected to see rain in the north-west Highlands and Grampian which will clear away during the afternoon, and while there will be a few showers elsewhere, there will be mainly sunshine in the east from Aberdeen down to the Borders.
Tomorrow will bring a dry start but with rain developing in the south and west.
However, by Tuesday morning there will be more rain pushing across the country, with the weather expected to remain unsettled for the rest of the week.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: South