Today the Public Accounts Committee, of which I am a member, published a report into the management of flood risk. You can read the full report here and watch the inquiry here. 

The report concluded that the Government is not doing nearly enough to protect homes in the UK from floods or stepping in to prevent new homes being built on flood plains.

These findings will be of great concern to communities in Sheffield and South Yorkshire, who have had their lives and livelihoods turned upside down by increased flooding in recent years.

Despite the best efforts of Sheffield City Council to protect homes and improve flood defences, today’s report shows that already scarce local authority budgets, stretched further by the pandemic, are hampering proper flood protection across the country.

The climate emergency is only going to increase these erratic weather patterns, so it is vital that the government urgently ensure proper funding and fix the gaps in flooding risk assessment and protections, so we can prevent further damage to our communities.

It is unacceptable that only half of the defences damaged in the 2019-20 winter floods – which saw 1,500 buildings in South Yorkshire flooded – have had their standard of protection restored. This is a disaster waiting to happen – and communities in South Yorkshire will pay the price.

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