Funding for floods discriminates against rural areas, says CLA

18 October 2013

The CLA today (7 February) said Defra's £2.3billion investment in flood risk management continues to discriminate against rural areas at risk of flooding.

The Association said many rural areas would see little benefit from the new partnership funding approach under the capital budget and that savage cuts to the Environment Agency's (EA) maintenance budget of £50million would mean more areas were at risk of flooding.

CLA President Harry Cotterell said: "The new funding process has failed to deliver a complete overhaul of prioritisation techniques, cost benefit valuations and discounting assumptions for land.

"Placing limited value on agricultural land and buildings compared to more urban residential properties limits the scope for rural flood defence projects to achieve favourable cost benefit outcomes."

He added: "The Government must redress the balance by reviewing the process alongside rewriting the Treasury Green Book guidance in relation to flooding."

The CLA President said he was encouraged by the EA commitment now to allow farmers and land managers to undertake maintenance work when the Agency is unable to do so.