A National Audit Office report that warns some areas will face increased flood risk vindicates the PCS’s opposition to spending cuts.

Tim Lezard Europe, UK, PCS, UK unions, Ecology

NAO National Audit OfficeThe report published today says “limited resources” in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Environment Agency means current spending is “insufficient to meet many of the maintenance needs the agency has identified for its flood defences”.

It adds that, excluding the one-off £200 million provided after last winter’s floods, total funding has fallen by 10% in real terms since 2010.

The union warned as far back as 2007 that cutting jobs and budgets would undermine Defra’s ability to co-ordinate flood responses.

The rescue and repair operation during last winter’s storms was co-ordinated by a range of public bodies that have faced budget cuts in recent years, including the Environment Agency, emergency services, local authorities and coastguards.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This once again exposes the lie that the government can slash spending without affecting how public services are delivered.

“In the case of flood defences, cutting funding and resources can have devastating consequences for families and communities.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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