Future flood prevention Contents

6Conclusion

89.Evidence to this inquiry has highlighted a number of specific issues which need to be addressed to improve flood risk management. However, at a time of increasing flood risk, we need solutions which address not only these specific problems but also remove wider tensions within current flood risk management governance and administration. Governance arrangements must be streamlined and clarified to free up agencies to do what they do best, with better mechanisms to hold them to account for their delivery. It is also imperative that the underpinning structures for delivering flood management more closely mirror the physical challenges: new roles must facilitate whole-catchment management.

90.Our report sets out in preceding chapters what we think the Government needs to change: Ministers must calculate the balance between the short-term costs of new arrangements and the longer-term pay-offs. The timing and phasing will require careful consideration but we conclude that the benefits of making these changes will outweigh the costs in the medium to long-term.

91.We recognise the contribution of the many agencies working at national and local level to protect communities: this report’s recommendations aim to allow bodies to deliver what they can each deliver uniquely, avoiding duplications of effort and competing priorities. There is strong evidence of many parties’ willingness to try new methods of working, including embracing catchment approaches and partnerships. Such approaches can build capacity within organisations and communities as well as physically within river basins to hold and store water. We hope that Defra will take forward the recommendations in this report in close discussion with all interested parties.

92.Table 1 below sets out the deadlines for action on the recommendations in this report.

Table 1: Recommendation deadlines

Recommendation

Delivery body

Deadline

Comments

1. Commission a large-scale (100–200 km²) trial of catchment approaches. (Para 17)

Defra/ Environment Agency

July 2017

In collaboration with Internal Drainage Boards, local catchment partnerships

2. Consultation on payment scheme for flooding farmland.

Development of model to value benefits. (Para 24)

Defra

National Farmers’ Union/Defra

July 2017

End of 2016

3. Farming policies must link to sustainable land management practices. (Para 25)

Defra

Ongoing

4. Set out how SUDS will be deployed in new developments, with measures at least as strong as in the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. (Para 31)

Defra

January 2017

Response to this report to consider how proposed new governance model would encourage SUDS

5. Plans to include provision for channel maintenance and evaluation of where it is appropriate to dredge.

Streamline dredging permit system. (Para 34)

Environment Agency/Internal Drainage Boards/Local authorities

Environment Agency

July 2017

6. Report on collaboration to collect more real-time rainfall and river level data.

Deployment of real-time data for use in flood warning systems. (Para 38)

Environment Agency/Met Office

Environment Agency

July 2017

Earliest opportunity

7. Set out simpler system for explaining flood risk.

Publish maps on one website showing flood risk from all sources, including depth and duration likelihood. (Para 44)

Environment Agency/Met Office

End of 2016

8. Publish annual summary of planning decisions taken against EA advice and action taken to monitor impact of development on flood risk. (Para 48)

Local planning authorities

Annually, from 2017

9. Place statutory liability on developers to meet costs of flooding where development fails to comply with planning conditions.

Certificates to be issued to confirm compliance to enable developers to avoid liability. (Para 51)

Government

Local planning authorities

End of 2017

10. Water and Sewerage Companies to become statutory planning consultees. (Para 52)

Government

11. Amend Building Regulations to require use of flood resilient materials/products if voluntary code not agreed by end of 2016. (Para 55)

Government

End of 2017

12. Report on provision of clearer information to insurance policy holders on Flood Re subsidy. (Para 59)

Defra

January 2017

13. Review potential of insurance policies to incentivise household and business use of property resilience measures. (Para 60)

Government/

Insurance industry

January 2017

14. Develop a grant scheme to support small businesses undertake resilience measures. (Para 65)

Government

End of 2017

Review scheme by end of 2019 to assess if further direct support needed via Government-backed insurance scheme.

15. Place a statutory duty on Fire and Rescue Service in England and Wales to provide an emergency response to flood events. (Para 67)

Government

Consult by end of 2016 on methods of imposing duty and funding for it.

16. Set out how Government departments will co-ordinate flood management across Whitehall. (Para 76)

Defra, Cabinet Office

January 2017

17. Root and branch review of flood risk management (Para 77)

Government

18. Publish 25-year ambition for flood risk reduction, and funding analysis. (Para 78)

Defra

End of 2017

19. Legislate for bodies such as the Somerset Rivers Authority to raise local levies. (Para 79)

Defra

20. Consult on new governance model for flood risk management. (Para 87)

Defra

Consult by 2017

21. Set out views on this report’s proposed model for:

  • new National Floods Commissioner for England
  • new English Rivers and Coastal Authority
  • Water and Drainage Companies. (Para 88)

Defra

January 2017





28 October 2016