The NFU has responded to a survey on the role of local authorities and funding for flood and coastal erosion risk management schemes.
Risk & Policy Analysts Ltd were commissioned by the Local Government Association to carry out a survey to provide an overview of the role local authorities play in the current allocation of funding for flood and coastal erosion risk management (FCERM) and to consider potential options that would enable local authorities to play a greater role in the local allocation of funding in the future.
The NFU response has reiterated the fact that flood and coastal defence funding allocations have not been equitable as the funding has been directed almost entirely at people and property, with a distinct disregard to the agricultural land and businesses that produce the nation’s food.
We have also stated that FCERM funding is inequitable as there is a distinct lack of funding allocations for coastal schemes. Coastal defence schemes are often expensive to deliver but with the threat of sea level rise, it is imperative that these areas are addressed immediately in order to provide some level of resilience to future coastal erosion and flooding.
Local authorities have favoured urbanised schemes and single large-scale schemes when proportionately, a greater benefit could be achieved with smaller schemes. Within the response to the survey the NFU has expressed that a whole catchment integrated approach is key.
A lack of expenditure on FCERM has made it clear that there is a key focus on government housing targets with little regard to the considerations of the risks of the properties being constructed in at risk areas.
The NFU will continue to campaign for sufficient and transparent funding to protect rural businesses and communities at flood risk.
To find out more on potential funding or maintenance solutions check out the NFU’s Water Maintenance Solutions Pack or contact NFU CallFirst on 0370 845 8458. Your NFU Regional Office can also offer local catchment support and advice.