Massive cash boost for flood defences in Thames Estuary

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HALF of all the money earmarked for new flood defences in England will be spent on protecting London and areas around the Thames, official figures show.

Analysis by BBC News has found £1.8bn will be spent on the Thames Estuary out of a £3.7bn national flood spending programme.

The Environment Agency said it invested money “where it will have the most benefit”.

The disparity in regional flood defence spending comes as many flood victims remain homeless, 12 months after storms Desmond and Eva devastated parts of Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria.

The Thames also flooded last year with riverside areas of central London left under water. And the South East of England was badly flooded three winters ago, with rivers including the Thames, the Darent in Kent and the Ash in Surrey all flooding nearby homes.

The analysis of the flood defence spending was undertaken by BBC Yorkshire.

It found the Environment Agency and local councils have committed to spend at least £3.7bn on a variety of flood defence and coastal erosion projects up to and beyond 2021.

When further developmental projects are accounted for, £6.1bn worth of new defences are earmarked for construction across England.
However whereas the East of England will receive £381 worth of flood defence spending per person, the North West of England will receive just £48 per head of population.

Spending on the Thames Estuary alone is expected to total at least £1.8bn, which is four times as much as will be spent on flood defences in the whole of Yorkshire and The Humber.

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