HC Deb 21 January 2003 vol 398 cc215-6W
Mr. Liddell-Grainger

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the chairmen of flood defence committees have to declare other jobs they hold. [91170]

Mr. Morley

All Defra appointments to Regional Flood Defence Committees are made following the Code of Practice of the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA). On application for appointment, chairmen are asked to declare their present employment, other business interests, other public appointments and any other possible factors which may affect their suitability for appointment, including involvement in political activities. This information is updated regularly.

There are also requirements under paragraph 14 of Schedule 5 to the Environment Act 1995 regarding declarations of interest by members of regional and local flood defence committees.

Mr. Dismore

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on progress with the flood defence scheme for the Silkstream, Edgware. [91179]

Mr. Morley

Operational responsibility for flood management measures rests with the local operating authorities, normally the Environment Agency (EA) and local councils, who decide which projects to promote and their timing.

The EA is not seeking Defra grant for their proposed flood defence scheme for the Silkstream, Edgware, but do require our approval given the scale of public funding involved. Defra is considering the EA's proposed scheme against the normal technical, economic and environmental criteria. In the meantime the EA are working on the detailed design and negotiating with landowners. Subject to the necessary agreements, the EA plan to start work by the winter of 2003 and expect the construction phase to take two to three years to complete.

Mr. Liddell-Grainger

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many flood defence committees there are in England. [91509]

Mr. Morley

There are nine Regional Flood Defence Committees in England and one in Wales. There are statutory Local Flood Defence Committees in Anglian, Southern and Wessex Regions and in Wales. In the North West region there are three non-statutory advisory committees.

All committees are listed below:

  • Anglian Region
  • Local committees (5): Lincolnshire, Welland and Nene, Great Ouse, Norfolk and Suffolk, Essex.
  • Northumbrian Region
  • No local committees.
  • North West Region
  • Non statutory advisory committees (3): Cumberland. Lancashire, Mersey and Weaver.
  • Severn Trent Region
  • No local committees.
  • Southern Region
  • Local committees (3): Isle of Wight and Hampshire, Sussex, Kent.
  • South West Region
  • No local committees.
  • Thames Region
  • No local committees.
  • Wessex Region
  • Local committees (3): Bristol Avon, Somerset, Avon and Dorset.
  • Yorkshire Region
  • No local committees.
  • Wales
  • Local committees (6): Dee and Clywd, Gwynedd, South West Wales, Wye, Usk, Glamorgan.

Sir Michael Spicer

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will advise insurance companies that premiums on flooding policies should relate directly to risk and not to the post code areas in which the property is situated. [91400]

Mr. Morley

[holding answer 20 January 2003]: It is not for Government to advise insurance companies how they should calculate premiums. However, the Environment Agency are shortly to provide data to the Association of British Insurers which will enable them to develop a better understanding of the risk of flooding within a particular area.