local government

6th Annual Flooding Forum

local government

08:45 - 16:10

Tuesday 2 April 2019

Central London

Early Bird Discount Offer

10% off all advertised rates for a limited time only. Discount available to public / voluntary organisations only


This Forum will allow attendees to examine the latest policy and funding updates from senior government figures pertaining to flooding strategies, initiatives and investments. A wide range of case studies will provide guidance on how practitioners with responsibilities for flood management can enhance local planning, risk assessment, public awareness, flood prevention and recovery measures. Themes explored will include sustainable drainage, community leadership, emergency response, coastal development, skills enhancement, infrastructure resilience and decision-making.


This Forum is specifically designed for Local Authorities and Fire and Rescue Services. Typical job titles will include:

  • Flood Risk Managers
  • Leads for Flood Strategy
  • Emergency Planning Officers
  • Heads of Planning
  • Group Managers
  • Heads of Resilience
  • Operations Managers
  • Asset Managers
  • Watch Managers
  • Councillors
  • Business Continuity Managers
  • Heads of Strategic Planning
  • Station Commanders
  • Drainage Managers
  • Senior Hydrologists
  • Wastewater Project Managers

This Forum is also open to the Voluntary, Higher Education and Private Sectors to encourage networking and debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Robbie Craig, Policy Advisor, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra)
  • Senior Representative, Environment Agency
  • Paul Cobbing, Chief Executive, National Flood Forum
View the agenda and additional speakers


The Environment Agency predicts that around 5.2 million properties in England are at risk of flooding. Furthermore, the 2017 UK Climate Change Risk Assessment indicates that the number of extreme rainfall events in the UK are set to increase, meaning the risk of future flooding is a growing threat.

The Centre of Ecology and Hydrology described the winter 2015-16 floods, a.k.a Storm Desmond and Storm Eva, as “the most extreme on record in the UK”, costing the UK around £1.6 billion in damages, whilst the Environment Agency said that a “complete rethink” was required in the wake of the flood response.

In the 2017 Autumn Budget, the Chancellor announced £76 million to be spent on flood and coastal defences, broken down into £36 million for new schemes and £40 million to boost local regeneration in deprived communities at high flood risk. This brings the total investment in flood defence to £2.6 billion by 2021, when more than 1,500 flood defences will have been built to protect 300,000 homes up and down the country. Furthermore, in March 2018, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced 25 new flood schemes will receive a share of the £36 million investment  to improve flood protection over the next 3 years. Moreover, Defra and the Environment Agency jointly published a Surface Water Management Action Plan in July 2018 to better protect the 2 million properties in England at risk from surface water flooding. They urge coordinated action by organisations with responsibilities for managing land, rivers and drainage systems, including national and local government, water companies, landowners and businesses.

However, a significant obstacle to achieving more resilient local and regional infrastructure is a burgeoning flooding skills gap. Indeed, the Royal Academy of Engineering predicted in 2012 that the UK will need 830,000 new engineers by 2020 to meet challenging infrastructure targets.

In order to effectively protect local communities from the ever-increasing risk of flooding, cross-sector working between local authorities, water companies, fire and rescue services, internal drainage boards, flood management authorities, landowners and the private sector will be of critical importance. Creating more resilient, responsive and coordinated local flood management and prevention strategies are necessary to ensure the continued protection of people, local communities, the environment and the economy.


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Lord Deben, Chair, House of Commons Committee on Climate Change (invited)


Morning Keynote: Committing to Flood Prevention through Strategic Investment and Collaborative Working

  • Detailing the criteria through which £36 million for new flood protection schemes and £40 million for local regeneration in high flood risk areas is to be allocated
  • Reporting on progress regarding the government’s six-year funding commitment of £2.3 billion made following the 2016 National Flood Resilience Review, and reflecting on the impact of this funding
  • Working with the Environment Agency to deliver the July 2018 Surface Water Management Action Plan
  • Improving risk assessment and communication, clarifying responsibilities for surface water management, and building local authority capacity
  • Committing to “reducing risks from flooding and coastal erosion” as a key goal in the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, and expanding on what this entails in practice
  • Reducing flooding risk and impact by expanding the use of natural flood management solutions, creating more sustainable drainage systems, and making ‘at-risk’ properties more resilient to flooding

Robbie Craig, Policy Advisor, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Exploring the Work of the Environment Agency in Tackling Flooding Across the UK

  • Evaluating the progress of the Environment Agency’s Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management in England 2015-2021 programme
  • Outlining how £2.6 billion in capital investment from Defra has been, and will be, deployed to develop effective coastal and inland flood risk management systems and infrastructure
  • Detailing how to attract over £390 million in additional funding through partnership contributions
  • Investing in new, innovative technology and equipment such as temporary flood barriers and a ‘hose coupling adaptor’ to enhance flooding responses
  • Working collaboratively with local authorities, internal drainage boards, regional flood and coastal committees, and local communities to develop and implement flood protection schemes

Senior Representative, Environment Agency (CONFIRMED)


Sponsored Session


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: The Role of Community-Led Action in Local Flood Resilience

  • Helping flood victims across north Lancashire in the wake of Storm Desmond
  • Outlining the role and contribution of community organisations to local flooding protection, resilience and recovery efforts
  • Securing £30,000 in grants from Kirkland Parish Council towards constructing the Churchtown bund (safety mound) to protect the village and surrounding areas from flooding
  • Working with Wyre Borough Council to review the town’s emergency flood plan and identify opportunities to improve response strategies
  • Organising conferences and events to support, educate and inspire victims of flooding and those threatened by flooding
  • Applying for grants on behalf of local residents to protect against further flooding

Winner of Flood and Coast’s 2018 Project Excellence Awards in the ‘Community Leadership’ category 

Siriol Hogg, Vice-Chair, Churchtown Flood Action Group (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Enhancing Local Drainage and Water Management Systems to Reduce Flooding

  • Highlighting the integral role of Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs) in reducing flood risk through management of water levels and drainage
  • Establishing ‘Susdrain’, a community that provides resources and guidance for those involved in delivering sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) to help to manage flood risk
  • Ensuring there are robust processes in place for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of local flood management and surface water drainage systems
  • Providing guidance for local authorities on delivering successful integrated water management through the planning system to reduce flooding risk
  • Developing “B£ST”, a free Excel tool offering a structured approach to evaluating a wide range of benefits of SuDS for local practitioners

Awarded the CIWEM Urban Drainage Group’s 2017 WaPUG Prize for “promoting good practice, delivery and innovation in SuDS”

Paul Shaffer, Associate – Water Management, Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) (invited)


Case Study: Developing, Managing and Implementing a Local Flood Alleviation Scheme

  • Working with the Environment Agency to secure £42 million for the Humber Hull Frontage Improvement Scheme to upgrade tidal flood defences
  • Exploring how the scheme fits into the broader Humber Flood Risk Management Strategy developed in partnership with East Riding of Yorkshire Council
  • Outlining how the flood defence scheme will better protect from, and reduce the risk of, tidal flooding for around 113,000 properties in the city in the Hull area through effective planning, water engineering and management
  • Sharing details around the process of designing the flood defences, ensuring adequate long-term flood protection by anticipating high Humber tidal levels in 2040
  • Laying out next steps for the scheme, including how the council will work with stakeholders and contractors to enable completion by March 2021

Councillor Daren Hale, Deputy Council Leader and Cabinet Member – Economic Investment, Regeneration, Planning, Land and Property, Hull City Council (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Supporting Community Engagement to Enhance Resilience and Reduce Flood Risk

  • Highlighting the importance of community engagement and awareness-raising efforts, coordinated and governed by community-led Flood Action Groups, in developing effective flood management strategies
  • Analysing the Belsize Flood Resilience Project in Southampton; examining the implementation of an effective community interaction scheme and the importance of involving local residents in strategy development
  • Exploring how the National Flood Forum’s model of community empowerment was successfully deployed in West Sussex, focusing on partnership working and Multi-Agency Meetings (MAMs)
  • Evaluating the implementation of the FloodSmart project in Chesham; imparting lessons learnt regarding the value of the flood visualisation tool to local residents

Paul Cobbing, Chief Executive, National Flood Forum (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Equipping Industry with Skills and Knowledge to Ensure Effective Flood Resilience and Prevention

  • Partnering with the Environment Agency, the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) and the private sector to plug the flooding skills gap
  • Equipping people working across the infrastructure sector with essential flood resilience skills
  • Emphasising the economic costs of flooding, and the importance of flood resilient infrastructure to the UK’s economic growth and vitality
  • Producing a suite of CIWEM accredited e-learning programmes aimed at professionals as well as new learners at both pre and post-university levels
  • Developing a skills capacity roadmap for flood control methods, as well as shaping and delivering the education solutions needed to tackle future challenges in flood risk management

Paul Cross, Senior Workforce and Skills Advisor, Environment Agency (CONFIRMED)

Rachael Bliss, Head of Learning and Development Services, Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) (CONFIRMED)

Professor Tassos Karayiannis, Director – Centre for Flood Risk and Resilience, Brunel University London (CONFIRMED)

Alastair Gemmill, Digital Education Lead – Centre for Flood Risk and Resilience, Brunel University London (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Delivering a Professional and Resilient Fire and Rescue Response to Flooding

  • Outlining the core operational and planning components of the London Fire Brigade’s flood response strategy
  • Working closely with the Greater London Authority (GLA) to ensure that the Brigade’s flood planning is based on the best risk information available from projects such as ‘Drain London’
  • Extending the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) for floods to frontline crews to ensure they have sufficient stock to deal with flooding incidents
  • Taking opportunities to work with insurance companies and the wider community to effectively assist with post-flooding recovery efforts
  • Considering an increase in the number of flood advisers to provide better intelligence and resilience

Tom George, Deputy Commissioner – Operations, London Fire Brigade (invited)


Case Study: Using Innovation and Long-Term Planning to Effectively Prevent Flooding

  • Delivering one of the largest river flood alleviation schemes in the country in partnership with the Environment Agency
  • Providing increased protection from flooding to more than 3,000 homes, 500 business and 300 acres of development land
  • Detailing how funding was successfully secured from a range of partners, including the Environment Agency, Defra, the Regional Growth Fund, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, and the private sector
  • Utilising innovative technology to reduce flooding risk in Phase 1, including the installation of movable weirs, flood walls, glazed panels and embankments
  • Adopting a long-term, catchment-wide approach in Phase 2 of the scheme, combining Natural Flood Management strategies and engineered measures to effectively prevent flooding

Councillor Richard Lewis, Executive Member for Regeneration, Transport and Planning, Leeds City Council (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Summary and Close

*Programme subject to change

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