§ Bob Russell
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was allocated(a) in England and (b) to Essex County Council for surface water alleviation schemes in each of the last five years for which figures are available; how much is allocated in each case in 2003–04; and how much she expects to allocate in each case in 2004–05. 
§ Mr. Morley
Funding for surface water alleviation schemes comes from several different sources.
Funding for local authority surface water alleviation schemes falls wihtin the Environmental, Protective and Cultural Services part of the local government finance settlement. Environmental, Protective and Cultural Services covers a wide range of services totalling more than £10 billion each year. Within this budget, no specific allocation is made for surface water alleviation schemes, but the proportion attributed on average is very small.
Defra provides grant aid to the flood and coastal defence operating authorities—the Environment Agency, local authorities and (in areas with special drainage needs) internal drainage boards—to assist with their capital works and related projects and studies to manage the risk of flooding from watercourses and the sea. Grant paid to all authorities in England (in cash terms) is set out as follows. The figures in the table include items such as contributions to the Environment Agency for their work on flood warning including public awareness, catchment flood management plans and the new National Flood and Coastal Defence Database. They exclude supplementary credit approvals for local authorities and grant for projects to manage coastal erosion although significant flood risk benefits often arise from the latter.424W
£ million 1998–99 35.0 1999–2000 34.8 2000–01 34.8 2001–02 57.9 2002–03 78.4 2003–04 80.0
For 2004–05 the total allocation is £137 million but the split between flood defence and coastal erosion is still being considered.
No grant has been paid to Essex County Council although substantial sums have been paid to the Environment Agency and district councils for projects in Essex.
Highways authorities and water companies also have responsibilities for some types of surface water alleviation schemes.