DEFRA’s National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy sets out a variety of different measures to be delivered across risk management authorities, including Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs), district councils and highways authorities.
Whilst we broadly support the strategy’s ambition and the nature of the challenge we face in managing flooding and coastal change, we are concerned that it does not sufficiently recognise that many of the proposed measures are in addition to current activity. With councils in England facing an overall funding gap of £8 billion by 2025, it is vital that any new activity arising from the strategy is resourced. The final strategy should identify how new resources will be made available to ensure that councils and other risk management authorities can deliver the envisioned activity or alternatively the strategy will need to be realistic about the existing capacity to deliver.
The LGA’s response focuses on the need for councils to have the right skills, capacity and resources and a more flexible funding model to deliver flood and coastal resilience in the future.