HC Deb 30 November 2000 vol 357 c881W
Mr. Gareth R. Thomas

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action he is taking to alleviate and prevent the flooding of non-main rivers. [141138]

Mr. Morley

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has policy responsibility for flood and coastal defence, while operational responsibility for delivering the service falls to the operating authorities: the Environment Agency, local authorities and internal drainage boards. The Environment Agency has a general supervisory duty over all matters relating to flood defence. Local authorities and internal drainage boards are empowered to undertake work on non-main rivers. The Ministry provides grant aid for capital flood defence schemes. To be eligible for Ministry grant, schemes must meet specific economic, environmental and technical criteria and achieve an appropriate "priority score" (derived from an assessment of ministerial priorities, urgency and benefit:cost ratio).

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