Publication - FOI/EIR release

Local authority breakdown of flood and coastal funding schemes: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004

Published:
9 Apr 2021
Local authority breakdown of flood and coastal funding schemes: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/202100137848
Date received: 14 Jan 2021
Date responded: 10 Feb 2021
Information requested

1. How much govt funding has been provided to local authorities for construction of flood and coastal protection schemes in Scotland in the last 3-5 year?

2. How much funding is due to be provided to local authorities for construction of flood and coastal protection schemes in the next 3-5 years?

3. When local authorities apply for funding, what criteria must each scheme meet in order to successfully obtain funding?

4. Is this usually 80% funding provided with the remaining 20% to be funded by local authority themselves?

5. Once a local authority is successful with an application, is there a timeframe when construction must start or the scheme to be completed?

6. When is the next funding round due to be announced?

Response

As the information you have requested is 'environmental information' for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.

This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.

The answers to your questions on flood protection schemes are provided below followed by those for coastal protection schemes.

  • How much govt funding has been provided to local authorities for construction of flood and coastal protection schemes in Scotland in the last 3-5 year?
  • How much funding is due to be provided to local authorities for construction of flood and coastal protection schemes in the next 3-5 years?

In 2016 agreement was reached between Scottish Ministers and COSLA on a new strategic funding plan for flood protection schemes. The agreement guarantees that until 2026 the level of flooding capital grant in the local government settlement is set at a minimum of £42 million per annum. In July 2016, it was also agreed by Scottish Ministers and COSLA that the funding for flood measures should reflect the legislative framework that was introduced in the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009. In doing so it was agreed that from 2016-17 onwards the flood component of the General Capital Grant would be allocated on the basis of a hybrid model whereby 20% of the component is allocated to all 32 councils to contribute to elements contained in their Flood Risk Management plans and 80% is allocated to large scale projects and distributed according to the SEPA prioritisation of flooding schemes and works set out in the Flood Risk Management Strategies that were published in December 2015.

Attached is a copy of the letters issued to local authorities in January and July 2016 advising them of the distribution methodology for your information.

In addition, the Programme for Government published in September committed to invest an extra £150 million for flood risk management over the next five years. Discussions will be held with COSLA in due course to agree on how this extra funding to local authorities should be deployed.

  • When local authorities apply for funding, what criteria must each scheme meet in order to successfully obtain funding?

There was no “application” process for funding. As noted above, 80% of the funding is distributed according to the SEPA prioritisation of flooding schemes and works set out in the Flood Risk Management Strategies that were published in December 2015. Schemes proposed in the flood risk management strategies were prioritised according to their cost benefit ratio and taking into account a series of additional criteria, encompassing the environmental and social impacts of flooding. This list was agreed by the National Prioritisation Advisory Group which was chaired by the Scottish Government.

The letter attached, dated July 2016, contains a list of the schemes that are eligible for funding.

  • Is this usually 80% funding provided with the remaining 20% to be funded by local authority themselves?

The grant intervention rate is 80%. 20% of the costs of the schemes must be funded by the local authority.

  • Once a local authority is successful with an application, is there a timeframe when construction must start or the scheme to be completed?

It is expected that planning work would expect to start on the prioritised schemes between 2016 and 2022, but that the completion dates would not necessarily be within this period.

  • When is the next funding round due to be announced?

SEPA and local authorities are currently progressing work on the next round of strategies and plans which will published in 2021 and 2022 respectively. No decisions have yet been made about how funding will be allocated to the prioritised actions and schemes that will be set out the second round of strategies and plans. Ministerial decisions on this issue will be informed by the recommendations of a joint SG/COSLA working group, that will be established in the early part of 2021.

With regard to coast protection work, there is no specific ring fenced funding but local authorities can fund coast protection work from their general capital grant. The Programme for Government published in September also announced that a new capital budget of £12m over 4 years for coastal change adaptation will be available from 2022-23. Consideration is currently being given to how this will be distributed.

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

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