20 January 2021
Public Accounts Committee public hearing

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP questioned the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency (EA), Sir James Bevan, on the latest EA work on chalk and limestone streams.

Sir Geoffrey is Deputy Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, who held a public session this Thursday on managing flood risks. Witnesses from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as well as the Environment Agency answered questions from the committee on the government’s management of protecting homes from flood risk.

Sir James Bevan outlined the work the EA had been doing, including the formation of the national chalk stream restoration group.  Sir Geoffrey also raised the provisions in Philip Dunne’s private Member’s Bill that could usefully be adopted in the Environment Bill, addressing sewage discharges from combined sewage overflows into rivers. The Public Accounts Committee will publish its report in the coming weeks with recommendations for Government.

Commenting on the session Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP said:

“Public Accounts Committee hearings are always a great way to flag important concerns directly with Government departments.  I have been able to raise a number of submissions made by constituents on flooding and pollution directly with the Environment Agency and Thames Water.

“After visiting some of the flood sites in the last few weeks I agree that a wider investigation into the underlying problems is necessary and I have written to Thames Water, the Environment Agency, as well as Cotswold District Council, requesting a full review.  I will also be holding my annual general flooding meeting on Friday 5 March, via zoom”

The link below is for the public session held on the 14 January: 


The full oral transcript can be accessed at: 


For more information on the inquiry into 'Managing Flood Risks' -