WE, members of the South West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (SWRFCC), wish to state publicly our continuing support and admiration for the work of the Environment Agency in the current situation of unprecedented rainfall and recurrent storms.

We know that flooding always causes misery and we sympathise with everybody in Devon and Cornwall whose home or property has been flooded over the last weeks. 

We also know that the work of the Environment Agency, working with the region's local authorities and other organisations, has protected many more homes and properties from flood damage by the defences that have been put in place over the last decades.

 The SWRFCC is the executive committee through which the Environment Agency performs its flood and coastal erosion function in the South West. It includes representation from all local authorities in Devon and Cornwall.

We make our decisions where to invest in new flood defences on firm evidence and tested science and do so within Treasury rules about the use of public money. 

We welcome the extra money which has now been allocated to flood defence nationally. This will make it possible to keep many homes and properties safe from floods in the future.

 At this time of emergency, Environment Agency staff in Devon and Cornwall work around the clock to provide timely warnings, repair coastal flood defences and clear debris from rivers to keep them flowing.

Furthermore, the emergency services, local authority staff, utilities and local public volunteers work tirelessly alongside Environment Agency staff, in true partnership and community spirit. They all deserve our full support and admiration.

Professor Robert Van de Noort (Chair SWRFCC), Benedict Bay (Cornwall Council), Richard Bell, Gavin Bloomfield, Cllr Steve Chamberlain (Cornwall Council), Cllr Chris Clarence (Devon County Council),  Jon Cocker, Peter Harper, Cllr Stuart Hughes (Devon County Council), Leigh Rix, Andrew Roantree, Philip Rees, Cllr Steve Sims (Council of the Isles of Scilly), Adam Slater, Cllr Eileen Wragg (Devon County Council)