Select Committee on Agriculture Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Supplementary Memorandum submitted by the Environment Agency (L 8)

  In paragraph 5.2.2 of the Environment Agency's memorandum of evidence, which was submitted to the recent Agriculture Select Committee Inquiry into Flood Defence, we made reference to the response of Local Authorities to a request made by the Environment Agency, for assistance in carrying out inspections of flood defences on critical ordinary watercourses. The Agency has recently reviewed the situation (to the end of November 2000) and felt that it might be of assistance if the Committee were to be informed of the current situation.

  The situation previously reported was that by the end of February 2000 some 69 Local Authorities had replied that they were unwilling, or unable, to carry out inspections. The current situation is that nine Local Authorities are now unwilling to carry out inspections. Over 110 others are willing to carry them out, but report that they are prevented from doing so because of a current lack of resources, lack of expertise resulting from withdrawal of their agency agreement with the local water company or a combination of the two reasons. Thus over 119 Local Authorities are unable to inspect defences and critical watercourses for which they are responsible. Within these Local Authorities the extent of the defences and critical ordinary watercourses will range from those with little or none to those with significant lengths.

4 January 2001

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