Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of climate change on the prevalance and severity of recent flooding; and what plans they have taken to review the (1) Bellwin scheme, and (2) aid and support provided to local authorities, to ensure that communities have sufficient resilience to withstand such events.
The second Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) published in 2017 identifies risks to flooding and coastal change as one of the UK’s top six risks from climate change. The second National Adaptation Programme (NAP) published in 2018, sets out a plan of actions across Government to address these risks (amongst others identified in the CCRA) over the following 5 years. In addition updated UK Climate Projections – UKCP18 – are a key tool to help the Government, businesses and the public understand the future climate and enable them to make climate-resilient decisions.
The Government acted swiftly to activate the emergency Bellwin scheme to help local authorities cope with the cost of response in the immediate aftermath of recent flooding. The Bellwin scheme was activated after Storm Ciara on 10 February and Storm Dennis on 17 February 2020. Under the scheme, local authorities dealing with the flooding can apply to have 100% of their eligible costs, above a threshold, reimbursed by the government. The operation of the Bellwin Scheme was last reviewed in 2015. There are currently no plans to review it further.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government provides funding to local government to carry out functions including managing flood and coastal erosion risk, through the local government finance settlement.