A £2million boost in funding to help local authorities deal with flood risk assessments was announced today by Environment Minister Richard Benyon as part of a package of measures to help prevent and manage future flooding.
The additional funding will help local authorities identify areas where there is a significantly high risk of flooding and where maps and action plans for flooding are required.
The National Flood Emergency Framework was also published today - this provides guidance and advice for councils and others on planning for and responding to floods. The Framework will be a ‘one stop shop’ reference point on flood planning and will be updated on a regular basis.
Environment Minister Richard Benyon said:
“Dealing with flooding is a matter that this government takes very seriously and our Structural Reform Plan launched earlier this month commits us to implementing the findings of the Pitt Review to improve our flood defences.
“Local authorities clearly have a vital role in managing flood risk and we aim to give them all the support we can, not only through funding for defences, but also by providing guidance on planning for a flood and training for staff.”
Speaking at the Local Government Flood Forum today, Richard Benyon also announced the publication of a draft strategy for building local authority skills and knowledge in flood risk management. The strategy has been developed in partnership with the Local Government Association, Environment Agency and other key players. Defra has already been working with the Environment Agency in getting local authority staff trained - 22 trainees are completing the first year of their foundation degree and another 25 are due to start in September.
Richard Benyon also announced that Defra is planning two consultations later this year - one to establish national standards for sustainable drainage systems, and another to transfer the ownership of private sewers to water companies, as welcomed by the Pitt Review.
- The funds of £2million for the Preliminary Flood Risk Assessments (PFRA) will help Lead Local Flood Authorities (County Councils and Unitary Authorities) to produce assessments of local flood risk to comply with both the Flood Risk Regulations and the Flood and Water Management Act at the same time. Details of the allocation will be issued in the near future.
- The National Flood Emergency Framework is available online at archive.defra.gov.uk/environment/flooding/documents/planning/emergency-framework-290710.pdf
- The draft strategy for building local authority skills is now at archive.defra.gov.uk/environment/flooding/documents/manage/surfacewater/capacitybuilding.pdf
- Under the Flood and Water Management Act the Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) approval process is closely linked to the planning process. Once commenced, the Act will require that future construction which has drainage implications will not be able to take place until approval of the drainage system has been given by the SuDS Approving Body.
- Some property owners own sewers and drains that run beyond the boundary of their property before they connect to public sewers and can have a liability for the maintenance of these pipes.