Atkins has called on the Government to heed warnings made by the Environment Agency about the potential long-term damage from not investing in flood defences
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Ministers have been criticised in the past for allowing flood disasters such as those witnessed in Cockermouth last year to fade from public consciousness once stability is restored, however, Mike Woolgar, managing director of the firm’s Water & Environment business, has called on the Government to act now to ensure future flooding, caused by climate change, is mitigated for.
Woolgar said: ‘Communities are still counting the costs of the 2007 floods and those more recently in Cumbria will resonate in towns like Cockermouth for years to come.
‘The government must ensure that flood funding is visible, sufficient and guaranteed so that the Environment Agency and its partners can continue to take a structured, planned and consistent approach to safeguard our homes, communities and infrastructure.
‘It will be much more cost-effective to channel investment into structured flood mitigation plans now to prevent future flood devastation than just responding to the most recent disaster.’
The Environment Agency has warned that unless investment in flooding infrastructure did not double to £1 billion a year, the cost of flood damage could rise by 60 per cent by 2035 as global warming adversely affects weather patterns.