MPs have urged the Government to provide councils with the resources they need to protect vulnerable communities from flooding.
A report from the House of Commons' Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) accused the Government of lacking clear flood-resilience targets, which it said left England ‘playing catch-up’ with climate change.
The committee also called for a long-term budget for the maintenance of existing defences.
EFRA chairman Neil Parish said: ‘If the Government will not set well-defined targets for flood resilience it will waste millions of pounds playing catch-up.’
The report called for local authorities to be given the resources they need – including for dedicated trained staff – to effectively factor climate change projections into planning decisions.
Environment spokesperson for the Local Government Association, Cllr David Renard, said funding for flood defences needed to be devolved.
A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: '
A Defra spokesperson said: 'We are investing a record £5.2bn in 2,000 new flood and coastal defences between 2021 and 2027, better protecting 336,000 properties and building on the significant progress already made to respond to climate change.
'We have a comprehensive long-term plan to invest in new defence assets, maintain our existing ones and double the number of our projects that harness the power of nature to reduce flood risk - all designed to prepare the country for future flooding and coastal erosion.'