Friday, January 04, 2008

£290 Million on Consultants

Everything in this country is falling apart at the sleeves because of lack of money, yet a government department can spend £290 million on Consultants? Read On


Date: 2nd January 2008
Release date: Immediate
Subject: DEFRA consultants flourish while flood defences are neglected.

SCAP Director, Gordon Henderson, has revealed figures showing that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) spent a massive £290 million on consultants last year, but are planning to slash £270 million from programmes dealing with climate change and the natural environment.

A total of £1.1 billion of DEFRA money has been handed out to advisors since 2002, which is three times the amount the Environment Agency spent on building flood defences last year.

Mr Henderson said:

‘This news comes at a time when the Environment Agency is proposing that over the next century large swathes of our local environment will be allowed to become submerged by water, losing hundreds of acres of arable land.

‘The Medway Estuary and Swale Shoreline Management Plan recommended that almost the whole length of Sheppey’s southern shoreline and much of Sittingbourne’s northern coastline be categorised, in the long term, as “Managed realignment” areas, which in simple terms means that existing flood defences would be allowed to collapse and new ones built further inland.

‘I said at the time of the Plan’s review that the sensible thing to do would be to improve the existing sea defences, however, I was told that this would not be economically viable.

‘Which is why news that DEFRA has wasted so much money on consultants, rather than providing the Environment Agency with funds to better protect our shoreline; is simply adding insult to injury.’

Note to Editors:
There are four categories of shoreline protection:-

1) Hold the line, which maintains the existing defence line.
2) Advance the line, which builds new defences seaward of the existing defence line.
3) Managed realignment, which allows the shoreline to change with management to control or limit movement.
4) No active intervention, which means that nothing is done to stop land erosion.

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