Publication - FOI/EIR release

Assessment of Local Government flood projects: EIR release

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

Published:
2 Jul 2021
Assessment of Local Government flood projects: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/202100208352
Date received: 30 Jun 2021
Date responded: 1 Jul 2021
Information requested

1. How the Scottish Government assesses and prioritises Local Government flooding projects for funding.

2. What the current project prioritisation list is, and when this is to be updated.

3. What the (proposed/ draft) prioritisation list is for the next funding allocation together with details of the level of funding available.

4. What projects are currently funded/ receiving funding and to what stage (ie: outline design/ detailed design/ construction).

5. What the projected spend is on flooding projects over the next 5 years.

Response

1. In 2016 agreement was reached between Scottish Ministers and COSLA that funding for flood risk management should be based on a more sustainable funding approach which reflects the legislative framework introduced in the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009. It was agreed that from 2016/17, the flood component of the general capital grant (FCG) should be allocated using a hybrid model whereby:

80% of the FCG 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; 20% of the FCG is allocated to all 32 councils to contribute to other elements contained in their Local Flood Risk Management Plans.

It was also agreed in 2016 that the value of the flood component of the capital grant within the local government settlement would be set at a minimum of £42m per annum per year and this would continue until at least 2026.

Schemes proposed in the 2015 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. A list of the schemes can be found on SEPA’s website at https://www.sepa.org.uk/media/163528/42-flood-protection-schemes.pdf.

2. See answer to question 1. SEPA and local authorities are currently progressing work on the next round of strategies and plans which will be published in 2021 and 2022 respectively. These Strategies and Plans will set out the work that needs to be prioritised to reduce the risk of flooding to our communities from 2022-2028.

3. See answer to question 2. No decisions have been made about how funding for the next list of prioritised actions will be allocated. In March 2021, the Scottish Government and COSLA, established a working group to consider options for funding flood risk management actions with a view to making recommendations on the way ahead.

The working group is assessing the most appropriate mechanism to fund the schemes prioritised in the first cycle - as well as mechanisms for actions prioritised in second cycle. Advice will be provided to Scottish Ministers and COSLA Leaders later this year.

4. 40 of the 42 prioritised schemes are eligible for Scottish Government grant funding. In 2016, the Scottish Government issued an assurance that the eligible schemes will receive full grant funding, subject to the caveat that these remain viable projects. This funding covers all of the eligible scheme costs but is fixed at 80% of costs when scheme costs are confirmed after tender acceptance.

Of the 40 schemes eligible for Scottish Government funding, 9 are complete, 15 are confirmed (over half of which are either under construction and/or have completed their tender process) and 1 scheme is no longer required. The other schemes are at various stages of development.

5. As referred to under question 1, it was agreed that the FGC would remain at £42 million per year until at least 2026. 80% of this is targeted at specific flood schemes and 20% is allocated to all 32 councils to contribute to other elements contained in their Local Flood Risk Management Plans.

The Scottish Government is also committed to providing an additional £150m over the next five years for flood risk management and the allocation of this funding is being reviewed by the working group. All of this sum will be allocated to local authorities.

Local authorities are also free to allocate additional resources to flooding from within the overall funding provided to them by the Scottish Government and from within their own resources.

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Contact

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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
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