The country is still unprepared for flooding, despite the havoc caused by heavy rains last summer, MPs have warned.

Flood defences drawn up to deal with surface water following flooding in June and July last year were “unclear and chaotic”, while other defence plans focused too much on river and coastal flooding, the Environment Food and Rural Affairs select committee said.

In the committee’s report on flooding, MPs criticised the £800m earmarked by the government to spend on flood risk management by 2010 as being inadequate to deal with the risks the country faced.

Guidance

Ministers said the government needed to provide advice and guidance on flooding as well as giving local authorities the duty to improve surface water draining.

They also recommended that all new buildings on flood plains were properly flood resistant and called for greater use of sustainable drainage systems.

Committee chairman Michael Jack said that it was vital policies to deal with surface water flooding were well co-ordinated and managed.

“Our report has shown how confusing and chaotic the infrastructure was when it came to preventing and dealing with surface water flooding.

“The government must bring clarity to this situation so the public can have piece of mind that every effort is being made to avoid a repeat fiasco of last summer.”