14 June 2016

Ministers are reacting to individual problems instead of producing a long-term strategic planning to manage flood risk, the Environmental Audit Committee has said in a report that accuses the Government of failing to protect communities at risk.

Flooding: Cooperation across Government, has alarmed the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) with its particular concern being the reported failure to give local authorities the support they need to prepare for and mitigate the impacts of flooding.

Councils are often the frontline for flood response when small businesses are affected, the FSB noted, and they should be helped to develop local flood plans and flood prevention strategies.

The Federation's own research shows that two-thirds of small businesses have been negatively affected by severe weather in the last three years.

National Chairman Mike Cherry said: "Many small businesses in parts of northern England, Scotland and Wales are still recovering from the devastating floods last Christmas. The damage that occurred in places like Cumbria and Leeds is a reminder of the critical role that flood defences play, and highlights the problems when they don’t operate properly."

A sixth of all UK properties are located on flood plains and the FSB estimates that 9% of smaller businesses at risk of flooding have found it difficult to find flood insurance.

They are not covered by the new Flood Re scheme, which enables householders in affected areas to insure their properties at a reasonable cost.