Hard to take the Government's determination to address flood risk seriously. Leaving aside the questions of whether the £2.3bn package announced in the autumn statement is anything like enough, or what's being done for maintenance of exisiting schemes, is it consistent with the backtracking on Sustainable Urban Drainage?
Just last month, after years of delay in impementing the measures set out in the 2010 Floods Act (based in turn on the 2007 Pitt review of the 2007 floods), DEFRA finally caved into the developer lobby and announced they were being re-opened for consultation. Even its own independent advisory Climate Change Committee was angry.
The question is – is the Government making decisions on its flood prevention strategy by asking “is this economically , environmentally and socially sustainable” or “will this benefit the construction industry and developers”?
And as for addressing the causes of the weather pattern changes behind the flooding - well, look no further than a £15bn roads programme, the freezing of fuel duty, lower taxation on North Sea Company profits, and extended tax relief for fracking operations. Get those sandbags ready!