Confusion surrounds Environment Agency’s plans to cut flooding jobs

The agency and DEFRA insist the planned cuts will not affect England’s ability to cope with future floods, but there are few details to back up that claim

There is still little clarity on how the Environment Agency’s plan to cut 1,700 staff will affect its ability to respond to future floods.

On 3 January, environment secretary Owen Paterson told journalists the cuts would have no impact.

The agency “has every intention of protecting frontline services concerned with flooding...as [it] makes [its] efficiencies," he told journalists following widespread flooding.

He repeated the comment during parliamentary questions on 7 January.

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