§ Mr. David Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what criteria are used by her Department to determine entitlement to new investment to protect residential areas at risk from flooding. 
§ Mr. Morley
This Department provides funding to local operating authorities for new and improved flood and coastal defences that are technically sound, economically worthwhile and environmentally acceptable, and also achieve an appropriate priority score. The priority score system has been revised and, for schemes starting after April 2003, will be based on three elements—economic, people issues and environmental protection and enhancement.