Complete rethink on flood defences promised
Following disastrous flooding across the North of England, the Environment Agency has promised a "complete rethink" of Britain's flood defences.
A major review of flood prevention strategy has been ordered by the government, with Environment Agency deputy chief executive David Rooke saying that the UK is "moving into a period of unknown extremes." He said that there is a £2.3bn programme in place to provide better flood defences over the next six years, but added that a rethink of flood defence would have to involve increasing resilience for communities and homes. Mr Rooke’s suggestions included solid floors, waterproof plaster, better early warning system, and electrical wiring situated higher up walls.
The UK government has faced criticism for the cuts in flood defence spending since similar floods in the same areas in 2010. The GMB union has called for staff reductions at the Environment Agency to be halted, as these will undermine its responsiveness. Green Party leader Natalie Bennett and Committee on Climate Change chairman Lord Deben both called for urgent action to stop new housing being built in high flood risk areas.
The prime minister, David Cameron, defended the funding made available and denied suggestions that less money had been spent in the flood-hit north than in the south of the country. 500 troops were deployed and thousands of householders evacuated in Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria over the Christmas period. Service Company KPMG has estimated the cost of the current floods at £5.8bn so far, with more severe weather expected.
Published by Green Jobs Online - 5th January 2016