During their annual party conference, the Liberal Democrats in the UK backed a series of measures to deal with the increased flood risk faced by the country. The measures include:
- Increasing investment in flood defences, according to Environment Agency recommendations
- Making sure affordable insurance is available for homes built after 2009
- Continuing to work with the insurance industry to offer small businesses protection
The Lib Dems are calling their flood policy a ‘New High Water Mark’ in dealing with floods across the UK, stressing that extra support for victims of flooding and more work to shore up flood defences are ‘crucial to a sustainable economy’.
The UK has seen an increasing number of severe flood incidents over the last few years. The annual cost of flooding in the country is thought to be around £1.1 billion, but there is a fear that this could rise to £27 billion by 2080.
Dan Rogerson, Lib Dem Minister for Flooding, said: “Huge swathes of the country have taken a battering from floods.
“Climate change is a driver of more frequent extreme weather, which leads to more catastrophic flooding.
“So, it is crucial to a sustainable UK economy we invest now to protect homeowners and businesses in the future.”
The National Audit Office reported a saving of £8 for every £1 of capital investment in flood defences. Money to deal with flooding has increased by £400m under this Government, but the Lib Dems today ssaid that further investment is needed. The Lib Dems say an extra £20 million a year needs to be spent on protection between 2010 and 2035.
Layla Moran, Oxford West and Abingdon prospective parliamentary candidate, said:
“Living in an area affected by flooding I have seen with my own eyes just how distressing it can be. This motion shows that the Liberal Democrats take the issue very seriously.
“Investing in flood defences, enforcing stricter planning regulations and ensuring the most vulnerable people have adequate insurance are just some of the measures we desperately need to take now to protect ourselves for the future. I am delighted it has passed.”