HC Deb 27 October 2003 vol 412 c28WS
David Taylor

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with parish councils on their ability to pay for flood prevention schemes. [132482]

Mr. Morley

Local authority responsibilities for flood defence measures on ordinary watercourses generally fall to district and unitary authorities rather than parish councils. Defra currently grant aids local authorities at a rate of 45 per cent. for flood defence capital works that meet specified criteria.

Local authority flood defence expenditure is also supported by funding delivered from ODPM as part of the local Government funding settlement. This expenditure falls into three categories:

  • councils' own expenditure on flood and coastal defence;
  • levies paid to the Environment Agency, and
  • special levies paid to internal drainage boards.

My Department maintains a dialogue with the Local Government Association (LGA) on the funding needs in Local Authorities which are taken into consideration in our Spending Reviews. Recently we have worked with the LGA in the arrangements for introducing Defra grant in aid to the Environment Agency to replace most of the levies raised on local authorities.