Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to prevent flooding along Millbank; and what measures are involved.
Millbank in Westminster is at risk from two main sources of flooding: surface water flooding caused by heavy rainfall and flooding from the tidal Thames. Lead Local Flood Authorities (London Boroughs) hold responsibility for managing surface water flooding, under the Flood and Water Management Act. As a Category 1 responder, the Environment Agency works with other authorities, where possible, to support their response to surface water flooding.
The Thames' tidal defence network is made up of 330 kilometres of flood walls, embankments, 9 major barriers, pumping stations, and flood gates. The Thames Barrier is at the heart of this network, having made its 200th closure to prevent flooding in central London in October this year. These structures protect over £321 billion worth of property and 1.4 million people from flooding. These structures are all having to work harder due to climate change.
The Environment Agency's Thames Estuary 2100 Plan sets a long-term approach upgrading flood defences to manage rising sea levels whilst delivering wider social, environmental and economic benefits for the Thames Estuary. The Thames Estuary 2100 Plan was designed with climate change at its core. It was the first adaptive flood risk management strategy developed in England and is internationally recognised as a leading example of a climate adaptation strategy. By taking an adaptive approach, we can better anticipate and respond to a range of future climate scenarios, ensuring we are investing in the right flood risk management actions at the right time, to ensure the resilience of the estuary and its communities in the future.