Last edited 02 Feb 2021

Select Committee for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

House of Commons select committees generally examine the work of government departments, with a select committee for each government department, examining spending, policies and administration. Some select committees have a role that crosses departmental boundaries and some are involved in on-going investigations of specific issues. Select committees are made up of Members of Parliament selected from the political parties in proportion to the representation of those parties in the House.

The Commons Select Committee for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and its associated public bodies. The Committee chooses its own subjects of inquiry on environmental and agricultural subjects.

On 24 January 2017, the committee published Future flood prevention: Government's response to the Committee's Second Report of Session 2016-17. The report criticised the government for not taking up the recommendations of their previous report Future flood prevention and called on the Department to provide greater safeguards and assurance to local communities through stronger planning rules and improvements to flood insurance coverage. It also suggested the government should develop robust long-term plans and fundamentally overhaul the governance and streamline the delivery of flood risk management.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP, Acting Chair of the Committee, said: “Defra has failed to give sufficient justification for its rejection of our recommendations for important new measures to improve flood protection. Ministers must give us more detailed information on how the Government is using its £2.5 billion flood defence budget to slow the flow of water across river catchments so as to stop communities flooding in future. Ministers must also update us on their actions to ensure that the insurance, planning and building regulation regimes reduce flood risk and improve property resilience."

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