Press release

Consultation explores opportunities for flood and coastal erosion management at a local level

Government is beginning a conversation on increasing local funding for flood and coastal erosion management.

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Government is beginning a conversation on increasing local funding for flood and coastal erosion management and is keen to hear ideas, as outlined in a government consultation.

Communities Secretary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, welcomed the consultation from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which is seeking early views on how to fund flood risk projects at a local level to help the country better manage the long-term risk of floods.

Currently alongside the government’s record investment, there are other local funding routes that support local flood and coastal erosion management, including the Environment Agency levy, the Internal Drainage Boards levy and tax relief for businesses that invest in flood and coastal defences.

The government is aware of the need to ensure a balance between the costs and benefits for local taxpayers (residents and businesses), which may include recognising any correlation between reducing the risk and local recovery spend.

Communities Secretary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said:

Flooding can be devastating to people and communities, which is why the government is spending £2.6 billion to better protect the country from flooding. But we also need to consider how local funding for flood and coastal erosion management, which can offer vital protection for homes and businesses across local areas, is able to be raised in the future.

“For example, we have recently received representations about a project that aims to protect 15,000 homes and 2,400 businesses across the Lower Thames area. My Department will continue to engage with the relevant local authorities and I would be willing, in principle, to consider a range of options including additional council tax flexibilities, to identify the best means of ensuring that this scheme can go ahead.

This consultation opens a discussion on potential future local funding opportunities. I encourage responses from all interested parties to assist the government in considering this important matter.

See the Improving our management of water in the environment consultation.

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Published 16 January 2019