HC Deb 02 March 2004 vol 418 c781W
Mrs. May

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance has been issued to the Environment Agency on matching local authority funding for flood defences. [154915]

Margaret Beckett

No such guidance has been issued. From April 2004 the Environment Agency's flood defence service in England will be funded primarily through Defra grant in aid which will replace, in large part, the levies that local authorities have previously paid to the Agency. We have, however, left in place a power for the Agency to levy local authorities to fund works not covered by Defra grant. These levies need to be agreed by the relevant flood defence committee on which the local authorities have a majority.

Levies are also subject to a cap of three times the level of Formula Spending Share allocated to each local authority to support the levy payment.

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