National Audit Office warns flood defending is ‘insufficient’

The National Audit Office (NAO) has warned that spending on flood protection in England is ‘insufficient’ to maintain defences. It said half of the country’s defences were only being maintained to a “minimal level” and were likely to deteriorate faster. Spending on flood defences has been cut in real terms between 2010/11 and 2014/15 despite the Government stating that they were spending ever more than before on flood defence.

The Environment Agency said it was making “record levels of investment” in flood schemes. There report said that five million properties were at risk of flooding in December 2013. The NAO said the agency had improved the cost effectiveness of its flood risk spending but faced difficult decisions around whether to continue maintaining some flood defences or whether to let them lapse.

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