Government Announces National Flood Resilience Review

Cumbria flash floods

The Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss has announced a National Flood Resilience Review, following the Cumbria floods, to to better protect the country from future flooding and increasingly extreme weather events.

She said that review, to be delivered by a new cross Government team, would look afresh at how  flood risk is calculated in light of recent events. This will see the Government updating ‘worst case scenario’ planning, considering the future impacts of climate change and carrying out a risk assessment of critical infrastructure, like electricity substations.

The review, to be published next summer, will be led by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Letwin and include the Government’s Chief Scientist, Defra, DECCDCLGHMT and the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency.

At the same time, she announced that the Government would work to identify additional flood protection measures for Cumbrian communities affected by extreme weather events like the record rainfall seen last weekend.

A new Cumbrian Floods Partnership group will consider what improvements to flood defences in the region may be needed, look at upstream options for slowing key rivers to reduce the intensity of water flows at peak times and build stronger links between local residents, community groups and flood defence planning.

The group, who will publish a Cumbria Action Plan next summer, will be chaired by Floods Minister Rory Stewart and made up of local authorities, the Environment Agency and community flood defence groups.

Elizabeth Truss said:

“After seeing first-hand the impact of the flooding in the north of England it is clear that the growing threat from more extreme weather events means we must reassure ourselves, and those communities at risk, that our defences, our modelling and our future plans are robust.”

“We are already spending £2.3 billion over the next six years to better protect 300,000 homes from flooding, but we need to be sure we have the very best possible plans in place for flood prevention and protection across the whole country.

“We will take prompt action where we identify any gaps in our approach and where our defences and modelling need strengthening.

Rory Stewart will also be taking on a special Floods Envoy role across Cumbria and Lancashire coordinating the flood recovery operation across local agencies over the coming months.

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