CORNWALL councillors on a group that decides where flood defence money is spent have publicly backed the Environment Agency (EA).
The South West regional flood and coastal committee (SWRFCC) has issued an open letter to the people of Cornwall and Devon backing the beleaguered agency.
It came under fire from Local Government Minister Eric Pickles, who questioned its expert status. But it was later revealed the Government had imposed funding cuts at the EA.
Now the SWRFCC has announced it wants to "state publicly our continuing support and admiration for the work of the Environment Agency".
The letter said: "We know that flooding always causes misery, and we sympathise with everybody whose home or property has been flooded.
"We also know 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 put in place over the past decades."
The SWRFCC is the 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.
The committee said: "We make decisions on where to invest in new flood defences on firm evidence and tested science, and do so within Treasury rules.
"EA staff worked around the clock to provide timely warnings, repair defences and clear debris."