§ Mr. Randall
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to improve flood protection in the London borough of Hillingdon. 
§ Mr. Morley
This Department provides grants for flood and coastal defence capital works, and associated studies, which meet essential technical, economic and environmental criteria and achieve an appropriate priority score. Further to increases in spending plans in the last two spending reviews, additional funding of £51 million over the four years from 2000–01 was announced in November 2000 following the severe flooding that year. An increased priority was given to urban flood defences and the grant rates for all river flood defences were increased by 20 per cent.
Operational responsibility for flood management measures rests with the local operation authorities, normally the Environment Agency (EA) and local councils, who decide which projects to promote and their timing. The operational authorities are invited to submit applications for DEFRA funding.
The EA has implemented a number of flood alleviation schemes in the London borough of Hillingdon as part of the £20 million Lower Colne Improvement Scheme with the benefit of grant aid. The schemes provide flood alleviation properties within West Drayton, Uxbridge and Cowley.
The EA is now reviewing the feasibility of sustainable flood alleviation measures for the River Pinn catchment.