Nicola Sturgeon announces £42m a year funding to deal with flooding
Communities across Scotland are to get a share of £420m Scottish Government over 10 years to prevent flooding
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Communities across Scotland are to get a share of £420m over 10 years to prevent flooding following an agreement between the Scottish Government and COSLA.
The funding is part of a 10-year flood prevention strategy to protect homes in the most at risk areas, which the Scottish Government says will benefit more than 10,000 families.
The support of £42m a year will be used for 40 new flood protection projects and to support local risk management plans.
More than 130 flood protection studies will also be carried out to find potential solutions for another 26,000 homes, which are currently at risk.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the agreement would give local authorities the certainty they need to deliver local flood management plans.
The Scottish Government has provided councils with funding of £42m a year to invest in major flood protection schemes through the local government settlement since 2008.
Scottish Government ministers and COSLA agreed that the future funding of flood protection work from 2016/17 onwards should reflect the priorities set out in the 14 flood risk management strategies published in December 2015, as well as the more detailed local flood risk management plans published in June 2016.
Sturgeon made the announcement about the new joint strategy on a visit to Newton Stewart, which was badly affected by flooding over New Year.
She said: “As I walked down the high street what struck me was the resilience of this small community as they supported each other.
“Seven months on and the community have rallied round and businesses are getting back on their feet and returning to normal.
“However, the implications of the storm will be felt for a while yet and we need to work together to minimise any potential future disruption.
“This agreement will give local authorities the certainty they need to deliver the actions set out in their local flood risk management plans to help protect individuals, business and communities from the danger of flooding.”
Councillor Stephen Hagan, COSLA spokesperson for development, economy and sustainability, stressed the importance of a strong relationship between local and national government to deal with the flood risk.
He said: “Protecting communities is at the heart of what local government does and is the reason why local government has committed this substantial resource for flood protection.
“Climate change, and the associated increase in flooding events, poses a significant national risk.
“This is why investment in flood protection schemes and associated infrastructure is critical to protecting vulnerable householders, businesses and communities, and why the strong working relationship between local and Scottish Government is so important.”
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