The Environment Agency (EA) is responsible to the Secretary of State for the Environment. According to its website, the Board  (appointed by Ministers) “is directly responsible to Government Ministers for all aspects of our organisation and performance. We are accountable to Parliament through Ministers.” It continues: “Ministers expect the Board to ensure that we fulfil our statutory duties, in the light of the guidance and directions which they provide, and to ensure that the organisation operates with propriety, regularity, economy, efficiency and effectiveness.” Defra sets the budget for England for the Environment Agency, though the Agency can also get contributions toward flood management from local authorities. The big sums here are for floods capital spending. The government is quite coy about how much it is spending compared to the last government – and compared to earlier recommendations for a rising profile of spend and  was ticked off earlier this month by the UK Statistics Agency for dubious representation of  floods capital spending in the National Infrastructure Plan (letter to John Healey MP). There is also a (declining) budget for floods maintenance. Both Defra and the Agency have in the past argued unsuccessfully for more money for flood management, pointing to […]

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