Flood Control: South West

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 22nd October 2018.

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Photo of Lord Patten Lord Patten Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the effectiveness of the arrangements between local authorities and relevant agencies to mitigate flood risks in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.

Photo of Lord Gardiner of Kimble Lord Gardiner of Kimble The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

There are close working relationships between risk management authorities (RMAs) in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. These include the Environment Agency, Lead Local Flood Authorities and Internal Drainage Boards. Together they promote the creation, funding, and delivery of joint projects to manage flood risk. Assurance is provided through the two Regional Flood and Coastal Committees: South West covering Devon and Cornwall, and Wessex covering Somerset. The Regional Flood and Coastal Committees have membership from all relevant authorities and agencies, including County and Unitary Authorities and water companies.

The RMAs also work together to deliver strategic planning policies, through influencing local and neighbourhood plans, to manage flood risk through economic growth, planning and development.

Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) plan and prepare for flooding in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. The LRFs are made up of category 1 and 2 responders, including the Environment Agency, county councils, NHS, Fire and Rescue Service, police. The LRFs meet bi-annually to ensure plans and procedures are in place to respond to flooding. Plans are tested regularly through multi-agency training and exercising. The LRFs provide support to communities to prepare for flooding. During flood events, the LRFs coordinate the response. After flood events, multi-agency debriefs identify successes and areas of improvements.

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