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British flood protection plans flawed, lawmakers conclude

by Reuters
Wednesday, 8 June 2016 23:01 GMT

A dog is pictured on a flooded street in Dumfries, Scotland, Dec. 30, 2015. REUTERS/Darren Staples

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"It just isn't good enough for government to react to flooding events as they occur"

* Winter floods cost insurers 1.3 bln pounds

* MPs say govt not supporting local authorities

* Report says UK unlikely to meet flood protection target

LONDON, June 9 (Reuters) - Britain is failing to protect communities from the growing risk of flooding, which cost insurers 1.3 billion pounds last winter, a report by a cross-party group of lawmakers said on Thursday.

"We know that flooding is projected to get worse and occur more frequently because of climate change, so it just isn't good enough for government to react to flooding events as they occur," Mary Creagh, chair of the Environment Audit Committee said in a statement published with the group's report.

Although every major flood in Britain in the last 20 years has been followed by a government review, the committee called for a more pro-active approach and criticised the government's lack of willingness to publish results of past reviews.

And while there is national policy in place to plan for flood prevention, the government did not support local authorities in implementing their own plans, the report said.

The government has committed to spending 2.3 billion pounds ($3.4 billion) on flood defences from 2015 to 2021 and in this year's budget pledged an extra 700 million pounds by 2020-21.

However, the Committee said it doubted the government would be able to meet its target of protecting more than 300,000 homes, since this forecast was based on the most efficient possible use of the funds. (Reporting by Susanna Twidale; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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