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Flood job cuts still on cards despite Pickles statement

Prospect accuses Pickles of rehashing old messages while Environment Agency job cuts still on the cards

Prospect today reiterated its call for an immediate moratorium on the 1,500 job cuts at the Environment Agency announced in October 2013.

The union said today's announcement by communities secretary Eric Pickles was a rehash of a statement made in 2013. "There is no additional money for flood defences, works programmes will be cut and 1,500 staff will still be made redundant by October 2014," said Prospect deputy general secretary Leslie Manasseh.

"The plan to protect 465,000 homes by the end of the decade was reported last November. Meanwhile the people who are working day and night to prevent flooding – our members in the Environment Agency – will see their revenue budgets cut from £275m in 2010 to £226m in 2014-15.

"Who will maintain these defences if the agency's revenue budgets are cut? Flood prevention through a well-resourced EA is better than a one-off temporary solution that cannot be adequately maintained.

"Prospect welcomes any additional funds that may become available to local authorities, but regrets the way figures are presented to give the impression that more money will be available to reduce the long-term risk of flooding."