MPs seek assurance over delayed flood defence review

MPs and council leaders have written to Prime Minister Theresa May pressing the government to act on flood defence recommendations before the arrival of Winter, after its review was delayed.

The national flood resilience review assesses how the country can be better protected from flooding and extreme weather conditions, and was due to be published in July. However, politicians have warned that delaying the publication could mean councils do not have enough time to implement the guidance before winter.

The review was commissioned after Storm Desmond last December, which caused severe flooding across the north of England, Wales and Scotland.

Mary Creagh, MP for Wakefield and chairwoman of the environmental audit committee, said: “It is disappointing that the national flood resilience review has been delayed and neither the flood envoys nor the minister responsible for leading the review have been replaced in Theresa May’s new government.

“It is vital the review is led by the Cabinet Office, which has a coordinating role across government. I have written to Andrea Leadsom and Ben Gummer to seek urgent clarification so that families and businesses at risk of flooding can see that the government has a plan to protect the nation’s energy, transport and digital infrastructure.”

A spokeswoman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said that the review was likely to be published by the end of September: “We’ve always committed to publishing this review this summer, so we would say that so far it hasn’t been delayed and we’re still working to that timeframe.”