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Government pledges better protection from flooding

In addition to the provisions in the Bill, the Government is providing more funding than ever before for maintenance of traditional flood defences to protect communities around the country.

The Bill will:

* Include sustainable drainage systems in all new building developments and redevelopments where possible in future, to help protect against surface water flooding;
* Give new roles and responsibilities to local authorities to manage surface water flooding – which was the cause of two thirds of the severe flooding in parts of the country in 2007 – to help better protect the public;
* Enable water companies to operate concessionary schemes for community and voluntary groups for surface water drainage charges, to reduce unaffordable rises in their bills;
* Improve the safety of communities living close to reservoirs by prioritising inspections and maintenance;
* Further protect the interests of water customers through a special administration regime; and
* Introduce stronger powers for hosepipe bans to make the system fairer for everyone and enable water companies to conserve more water earlier on in a drought.

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said: "We must do everything we can to try to reduce the chances of something like the 2007 floods happening again, although we know that in future climate change will bring more extreme weather including heavier rain, and we’ve seen from the weather in the last couple of weeks that the risk of flooding is very real."

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