Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, Philip Dunne calls on the PM to commit funds in the Budget and the comprehensive spending review later this year to improve flood defences to protect communities at risk in areas such as Shropshire.
The Prime Minister was asked—
The whole House will want to join me in extending our condolences to the families and friends of those who sadly lost their lives as a result of Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis. We will also want to thank all those who are providing support to tackle the impact of the storms, including the Environment Agency, local authorities, our emergency services and our armed forces.
This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in this House, I shall have further such meetings later today.
I associate myself with the Prime Minister’s thanks to all those helping in the aftermath of Storm Dennis—[Interruption.] It has brought record high water levels in the Rivers Severn and Trent, and over 100 properties in my constituency have been flooded, bringing misery to those affected. As we speak, the Severn has just breached its banks at Bridgnorth. Will the Prime Minister use his influence in the Budget and in the comprehensive spending review later this year to increase infrastructure spending on flood defences for at-risk communities as part of his determination, in this year of COP26, to show global leadership in taking action on climate change adaptation and mitigation?
Indeed I can, and I thank my right hon. Friend. We have been ensuring that the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is able to extend the Bellwin scheme where appropriate. Of course, we are also investing massively in flood defences—£2.6 billion has already gone in and, as he knows, we have pledged to commit another £4 billion to defend this country against flooding.