The government must properly maintain flood defences and watercourses if farmland is to be better protected from flooding, MPs have warned.
The warning is contained in a Report on Winter Floods by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.
It calls for fully funded plans to address a backlog of dredging and watercourse maintenance – as well as to maintain the growing number of man-made flood defences.
Committee chairman Anne McIntosh said: “Funding for maintenance remains at a bare minimum. Ministers must take action now to avoid a repeat of the devastation caused by the winter floods.”
Budget cuts affected regular work to dredge and keep rivers clear.