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06 August 2014

Changing Nature of Flooding

East Midlands Councils is working on a joint project on the changing nature of flooding. The project started with a briefing event for elected members of local authorities on 24th September 2014 called Wet, Wet, Wet - Building Local Resilience in a changing flood risk context.  Further information about this event is available here. The headline speaker was TV Weatherman Alex Berresford, presenter of Channel 4 series 'Britain's most extreme weather'.  Other speakers included Lee Rawlinson, Area Manager for the Environment Agency at Trentside, Nottingham and Josie Bateman, Flood Risk Manager at Northamptonshire County Council.

The event considered the various roles of local authorities in managing flood risk and the changing nature of the threat - a highly topical issue following last winter's severe storms and floods that affected many parts of the UK. It also examined the potential economic opportunities arising from a more pro-active approach to flood risk management, including a case study from Derby, where a ground breaking long term masterplan 'Our City, Our River' has been adopted by the City Council and is being implemented in partnership with the Environment Agency.

Some of the key local issues are:

  • The region has the highest proportion of land at risk of flooding in England
  • The East coast is vulnerable to sea level rise and coastal inundation, as was seen on 5th December 2013 with the biggest tidal surge for 60 years 
  • Government has yet to implement the Sustainable Drainage Scheme regulations from the Floods and Water Management Act 2010, 4 years after enactment of the primary legislation.
  • There are some very good local examples of flood risk mitigation and partnership working already. 

The project is now reviewing the current literature, engaging a number of leading local politicians and working with experts in the field to identify some clear recommendations for accelerating the region's progress. These will be incorporated into a report that will be published in early 2015 following sign off from the Executive Board of East Midlands Councils.

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