Mr Redwood’s contribution to the debate on Managing Flood Risk, 3 March

Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): Does my hon. Friend agree that many places, including Wokingham, experienced flooding because essential maintenance work on ditches, culverts, drains and small rivers, which are relatively low-budget items, had not been undertaken by the Environment Agency? In the previous year the Environment Agency spent £1.2 billion overall and massively increased its staff, but it did not have a penny to protect the people of Wokingham from the floods that have now hit them. Is it not a question of how we spend the Environment Agency’s budget?

Miss Anne McIntosh (Thirsk and Malton) (Con): My right hon. Friend makes my case for me.


  1. Antisthenes
    March 4, 2014

    It would have been nice if you had included references to the contributions of the EU, RSPB, WWF and other green lobbies had made to the flooding and perhaps Baroness Young’s comment “if you want wild life just add water”. I would have also said on environment issues only the greens are given a voice and dissent is quickly squashed in the usual lefty way and that cannot be right and is not the democratic way.

  2. DadOf3
    March 5, 2014

    Mr Redwood, do you have evidence to show that the flooding around Wokingham was caused by the lack of maintenance to the local water courses compared to years gone by, as you appear to claim, and not caused by, say, a increase in the rate at which the rain flows off the land into those local water courses due to changed land use?

    If the local water courses had been deepened/widened, what would have been the effect of the additional flow of water into the Thames above Maidenhead and Windsor? Is it not preferable to hold back the water in the flood plains of the Thames tributaries when levels in the lower Thames are high?

    Do you know how many households in the Wokingham area suffered as a result of fluvial (not pluvial) flooding in recent weeks?

    Reply I am working on a number of cases where remedial action could in future protect homes from floods.

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