EFRA ‘ Background Severe storms and heavy rainfall continue to cause extensive flooding events across the UK, causing disruption and distress to individuals and communities and costing millions. The Committee published a Report on Managing Flood Risk in July 2013 and held an evidence session on the Winter Floods on 22 January 2014. The Committee was deeply concerned last July about cuts in maintenance funding for flood defences and watercourses, warning that communities could be left exposed to flooding threats. This short inquiry will focus on the implications of the winter floods and follow up on the maintenance issues and recommendations that the Committee raised last year.

The Committee invites written evidence on the following issues:
• What lessons are we learning from the winter floods in relation to the approach to maintenance work? What changes to the approach should be made before next winter?
• How is funding allocated by the Government and the Environment Agency to maintenance work and how can this process be more transparent and effective?
• Is the responsibility for maintenance work currently allocated in the best way? How can this approach be improved? What maintenance role should IDBs, local authorities and landowners take?
• In what circumstances is dredging effective in reducing flood risk? When is dredging not effective?
The deadline for receipt of written evidence is Thursday 20 March 2014.’

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