Flood inquiry launched by Assembly

From: London Assembly
Published: Tue Feb 15 2005

Steps to tackle the threat of flooding in London are to be investigated by the London Assembly. In its original report1 in 2002, the Environment Committee recommended various actions for the Government, Environment Agency, Mayor and the boroughs. The Committee will look at how these have progressed and what more should be done. Issues to be examined include:

· if plans to build on flood plains in Thames Gateway will result in safe homes and businesses
· whether sufficient funding is in place for new defences and the right kind of homes
· how the Mayor is using his powers to protect Londoners from flood threats

The Kyoto Protocol, the international agreement obliging countries to reduce the production of greenhouse gasses, comes into force on 16 February. But even if Britain and other countries reduce their emissions, scientists still predict more extreme weather conditions because of climate change. These pose a very real threat to London.

Darren Johnson AM, Chair of the Committee, said: "Climate change is a fact and increases the risk to London of combined heavy rain and tidal surges. This must be taken seriously.

"It is vital that we learn the lessons of the past and avoid building on flood plains or Londoners could find themselves with homes they cannot insure. The Association of British Insurers is already warning that extreme floods could lead to damages in excess of £12-16 billion in Thames Gateway with £4-5 billion coming from new developments. We want to find out if current actions will be sufficient to reduce as far as possible, the risk to London."

Measures and defences are needed both for new developments and in response to the impact of climate change and other natural trends that are increasing flood risk.


Notes to editors

1.‘Flooding in London’ November 2002 http://www.london.gov.uk/assembly/reports/environment/flooding.rtf
2.Further details about the current investigation are available via the following link: http://www.london.gov.uk/assembly/scrutiny/flooding_tg.jsp
3.As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor
4.You can access nearly 12,000 answers from the Mayor and his officials to questions from Assembly Members on the ‘Mayor answers to Londoners’ database via the following link:

For media enquiries, contact Kelly Flynn on 020 7983 4067, Denise Malcolm on 020 7983 4090, or Steve Taylor on 020 7983 4228

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Contact Phone: 020 7983 4067

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