§ Nick Harvey
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if the Government plan to increase the amount of flood defence funds for coastal communities this year; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Morley
The Government are committed to sustaining flood and coastal defences and have increased spending plans in both of their spending reviews and again following the severe flooding in autumn 2000. Recognising the severity of the 2000 floods the Government announced a further £51 million over the period to 2003–04.
DEFRA's funding is set to increase from an outturn of £66 million in 2000–01 to £106 million in 2002–03 and £114 million in 2003£04. The amounts allocated to coastal and tidal river defences within these totals will depend on decisions by the operating authorities (Environment Agency and local authorities) on priorities for reduction of risk from flooding and coastal erosion and timing of works.