COSLA

Scottish Goverment and COSLA Shake Hands On £420m Flood Defence plan

In light of recent flooding and the significant disruption caused by floods when they hit, the Scottish government, together with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), have agreed on a multimillion pound investment scheme toward better protecting the country from risk of flooding. The plan will run for the next 10 years and see the investment of some £42m per year, representing a total outlay of nearly half a billion pounds.

The new flood defence strategy comes as a result of grant funding received worth the entire £420m. The money will be used to deliver 40 new flood protection projects in high risk regions as well as to support local flood risk actions and precautions.

Analysts suggest as many as 10,000+ households will be protected as a result of works carried out and over 130 different flood protection studies will be conducted on top in order to try and find potential flood solutions for a further 26,000 homes at risk.

Going forward, Scottish MPs and COSLA both agree that any flood protection work carried out should be with residents firmly in mind and, moreover, be aligned with the 14 national risk management strategies and 14 local risk management strategies published over the past year.

Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said that the new agreement will provide Scottish councils the certainty they require to deliver on the promises regarding flood defences made by their own, local manifestos.

Stephen Hagan, speaking of behalf of COSLA, stressed the agreement comes as a pertinent time with respect to flood risk, citing climate change as a strong threat to local communities and the nation as a whole. Hagan added that the agreement reiterates the importance of protecting communities and residents amongst local authorities and would also help to safeguard society’s most vulnerable.

Last year, Scotland was hit by some the worst flooding for decades, experiencing its wettest December on record. Whilst the damage has since been repaired and disruption caused is long since over, the floods weight heavily on the hearts and minds of the Scottish nation and, doubtless, flood protection projects will be quickly underway.

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