Central government funding for flood infrastructure has increased by just £3m in ten years, according to a report published by public sector procurement specialist Scape Group.
The report which was published on Wednesday (February 26) reveals that while expenditure has increased in real terms from £802m in 2009/10 to £870m in 2018/19, the majority of the £64m has been in capital spending and not revenue spending that goes towards staff and office costs and the maintence of flood defence assets.
The authors of the report have stated that there is an urgent need to increase funding over the next ten years.
Scape Group have recommended a 45% increase in funding in order to allow sufficient prevention and protection methods to address the increased risk of flooding.
The authors state that increasing funding by 45% would benefit the upfront investment in flood and defence work and would also provide benefits to the physical and mental wellbeing of those affected by extreme flooding.
The authors also suggest that budgets for local authorities should also be updated so that new infrastructure can be built and existing assets improved.
They also call for increased collaboration between local authorities and the adoption of natural flood protection methods.
Chief executive of Scape Group, Mark Robinson said: ‘The data shows a limited real-term increase over the last decade and we urgently need the amount of funding for flood protection to increase.
‘We also need to be thinking critically about how we work together more effectively.
‘Harnessing the knowledge and expertise of our experts and collaborating to operate across boundaries to deliver essential infrastructure needs to be a priority.
‘It is especially concerning to see that revenue expenditure has barely risen over the last ten years, with real term growth of just £3m.
‘A lot of our water infrastructure is from the Victorian era, it is hundreds of years old and desperately needs to be maintained and upgraded, but we are in the difficult, almost impossible situation of having competing pressures on the limited resources we have at our disposal.’
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