Long term funding solution needed to help reduce flood risk

Long term funding solution needed to help reduce flood risk

Bassetlaw District Council have been backing calls for urgent reform to the way Internal Drainage Boards are currently funded, stressing the impact it’s having on councils’ budgets.

Cllr Darrell Pulk, Cabinet member for Environment and Energy, joined other members of the Local Government Association Special Interest Group for Internal Drainage Board levies to highlight the issue at a parliamentary event with Government Ministers and MPs, including Bassetlaw MP, Brendan Clarke-Smith.

The Internal Drainage Board’s work is vital in reducing flood risk and maintaining water levels to lessen the impact of flooding, it’s feared the current approach to funding is affecting some authority’s ability to afford services.

Cllr Darrell Pulk, Cabinet Member for Environment and Energy said:

“The cost of levies has risen considerably over the past few years across the country, including in Bassetlaw, putting extra pressure on our council’s finances.

“The impact of inflation and the flat-lining of the Government’s support in keeping pace with additional financial pressures has increased the burden onto local council tax payers.

“Bassetlaw District Council gives full financial support to the Internal Drainage Boards which provide a critical role in protecting our communities from flooding. I believe that the vital work of the IDB should be funded in a more sustainable way.”

Bassetlaw District council is one of the founding members of the Local Government Association Special Interest Group (SIG), calling for a fairer and more sustainable way to fund the Internal Drainage Board levies.

In the last two years the group has seen levies reach unprecedented levels following a sharp rise in utility costs and other factors such as heavy rainfall.

The total drainage bill to councils nationally is £46.5m in 2023/24, up by £7million from the year before.

The meeting at Westminster comes after last month’s announcement by Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, of £3million awarded to the most affected authorities following calls for action from the Special Interest Group.

The government also says it will work with the sector, alongside the department for Environment, Agriculture and Rural Affairs to implement a long-term solution.



Last Updated on Monday, April 8, 2024