Home and business insurance firms offer flood prevention cover to homes on the strength of an agreement with the government that continuing investment is made to maintain defences.
This agreement is due to run out in 2013 – and many fear that these government cuts will lead to insurers failing to renew or cancelling policies.
The Environment Agency estimates one in every six properties in the UK is at risk from flooding – which adds up to millions of home and businesses.
The agency has published a list of flood defence projects that are due to proceed until 2015.
More than 1,500 projects were in contention for funding but only 356 have received any money.
“We have protected flood and coastal defence spending as much as possible,” said floods minister Richard Benyon, when revealing 39 new projects will start and that at least £2.1 billion is earmarked for spending on flooding and coastal erosion by 2015.
These schemes would help reduce flooding risks for around 145,000 homes.
The biggest axed project is a £160 million scheme for defences along 12 miles of the River Aire at Leeds.
The city’s MPs have expressed concern and claimed homes, shops and businesses have been within centimetres of devastation from high waters in the river.
Mr Benyon hinted that further money for flood relief may be found in later years.
He said: “I understand the concerns of people and honourable members who are worried that a particular scheme is not on the indicative list for funding.
“I should stress however that this does not amount to the Government cancelling schemes or saying that any particular scheme cannot go ahead in the future. The method of Government funding for schemes starting 2012-13 and beyond is currently under review.”
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