On Tuesday, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee questioned the Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Dr Thérèse Coffey MP, and the Department’s Permanent Secretary, Tamara Finkelstein.


  • She said that the recent floods caused by Storm Babet were exacerbated by the impacts of rain coming from the opposite direction.
  • She admits the Environment Agency is unlikely to hit the promised target of 336,000 properties to be protected from flooding under the current £5.2 billion programme by 2027.
  • She did not accept that there had been “some unilateral roll-backs on environmental pledges from the Government”.
  • The proposed huge investment set out in PR24 water company business plans was “not about paying for the past, it is about paying for the future”.
  • She suggested that funding for Environment Agency inspections to monitor compliance should be coming from the charges made for the permits (rather than government).

Watch the session here and click here to download the transcript of the evidence.

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