To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to encourage the formation and adoption of a code of practice on flooding by (a) local authorities, (b) drainage boards, (c) home owners, (d) landowners and (e) other stakeholders to ensure that effective and consistent action is taken when flooding occurs; and if he will make a statement.
The Environment Agency (EA) takes the lead role in managing flood risk in England under the Flood & Water Management Act (2010). They work with partners to reduce flood risk for people, property and the environment. Local authorities and internal drainage boards manage the smaller watercourses, and the EA manages the larger rivers.
The EA’s 2011 National flood and coastal erosion risk management strategy for England set the direction for all risk management authorities. The EA will be finalising their new national strategy for managing flood and coastal erosion risk during 2020. This new strategy will outline how partner organisations can work better together to create climate resilient places; growth and infrastructure resilient to tomorrow’s climate; and a nation of climate champions.
All risk management authorities and landowners have a role to play in planning for and responding to emergencies. The Civil Contingency Act (2004) sets out the roles and responsibilities of responders.
Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) come together to plan and prepare for localised incidents and catastrophic emergencies. They work to identify potential risks and produce emergency plans to either prevent or mitigate the impact of any incident on their local communities (including homeowners).
It is recommended that each LRF has a Multi-Agency Flood Plan (MAFP) outlining the roles and expectations of all organisations involved at a local level in preparation for, and during a flood. In 2018, a review was carried out of the effectiveness and consistency of MAFPs across the country and government’s response was published in 2019. To support that response, Defra has provided updated guidance for LRFs on what should be included within their MAFP.