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Drainage duty for councils demanded

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Councils should be responsible for ensuring their areas are effectively drained, Parliament's environment, food and rural affairs committee has said.

In a scathing report, MPs investigating last year’s floods criticised the absence of a single agency to deal with flooding emergencies.

They recommended the Environment Agency (EA) should have an over-arching role to provide advice and guidance on flooding, but said local authorities should have a statutory duty to ensure their areas are effectively drained.

“When drains began to overflow it was difficult to determine who was responsible for which drains,” the committee said.

LGA: 'Share responsibility'

MP, committee chair, said: “It is vital that the public can see that policies to deal with surface water flooding are well co-ordinated and managed by key players such as local authorities, the EA and utility providers.”

The MPs also said the government’s£800m bid to prevent a repeat of last year’s devastating floods is insufficient.

In response to the report, the Local Government Association said the government should introduce a legal requirement on water companies and other bodies to co-operate with local authorities to prepare flood prevention plans.

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