§ Mr. McMaster
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the Acts of Parliament which apply to the prevention, operational action and relief of floods and other natural disasters in Scotland; if he will list the350W main provisions of each Act; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Stewart
The relevant Acts of Parliament with their main provisions are as followsFlood Prevention (Scotland) Act 1961 which empowers regional and islands councils to carry out work to prevent or mitigate flooding of land in their area, not being agricultural land, so far as they think fit—section 1. Any work other than maintenance and management operations must be authorised by the Secretary of State—section 4.Coast Protection Act 1949 which empowers coast protection authorities (islands councils and councils of regions adjoining the sea) to carry out such coast protection work as may appear to them to be necessary or expedient for the protection of any land in their area—section 4. Certain coast protection work must be authorised by the Secretary of State—section 6.Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973—section 84—which allows local authorities to incur expenditure in taking action to avert, alleviate or eradicate in their area or among its inhabitants the effects or potential effects of an emergency or disaster involving destruction of or danger to life or property. Local authorities are also empowered to make grants or loans in respect of such action taken by others.Civil Protection in Peacetime Act 1986 which allows local authorities to use civil defence resources in taking action to avert, alleviate or eradicate in their area or among its inhabitants the effects or potential effects of an emergency or disaster involving destruction of or danger to life or property notwithstanding that the event is unconnected with any form of hostile attack by a foreign power—section 2.Local Government and Housing Act 1989—section 5—which empowers the Secretary of State to establish a scheme for the giving of financial assistance to local authorities in respect of expenditure incurred by them on, or in connection with, the taking of immediate action (whether by the carrying out of works or otherwise) to safeguard life or property, or to prevent suffering or severe inconvenience, in their area or among their inhabitants. The expenditure must have been incurred as a result of an emergency or disaster involving destruction of or danger to life on property.Land Drainage (Scotland) Act 1958 which enables the owner of agricultural land, subject to authorisation by an improvement order made by the Secretary of State, to carry out such drainage work as will improve drainage or will prevent or mitigate flooding or erosion—section 1.The Agriculture Act 1970—section 29—empowers Ministers to make schemes for the provision of nationally-funded capital grants. Statutory Instrument 1989 No. 128 (as varied) gives effect to the Farm and Conservation Grant Scheme—nationally. Under the scheme, grants are available for the improvement or alteration of the banks or channels of watercourses or other agricultural flood prevention works to provide or improve the drainage of agricultural land, or to prevent flooding or erosion of agricultural land.The Agricultural Act 1970—sections 92–94 as amended by the Local Government and Planning (Scotland) 1982—section 21—empowers river purification boards and islands councils to provide and operate flood warning systems for their areas.