David Davis has welcomed the recommendation from Anne McIntosh MP, Chair of the Commons Select Committee for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, that the Government review resource allocation for flood protection schemes.
One of the concerns of people campaigning for enhanced flood defences for the Humber Estuary is the Treasury rule that you have to save £8 of economic damage for every £1 the government spends on flood defences.
The Rt Hon David Davis MP asked whether, “Some major defences [such as the Humber defences] are strategic and, by definition, have to be carried out by a major strategic authority. Under those circumstances, the 1:8 rule and the requirement for other funding do not work. Does [Miss McIntosh] accept that strategic intervention should take place on a different scale?”
In response Miss McIntosh urged the Minister, “To grab this opportunity to review … the Environment Agency’s point-scoring system. We heard evidence that the cost-benefit ratio for household protection schemes is 5:1, but that for all other assets it is 18:1. This is, therefore, a good opportunity to address that. Although it was visited in a modest way in 2010, I believe it should be reviewed from top to bottom. We concluded that the current model for allocating flood defence funding to protecting property is biased towards urban rather than rural areas. In fact, our report argues that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has failed to protect rural areas.”