local government

6th Annual Flooding Forum

local government

08:45 - 16:30

Tuesday 2 April 2019

Prospero House- etc Venues, Central London

This Forum will allow attendees to examine the latest policy landscape and funding initiatives from senior government figures pertaining to future flood management strategies. A wide range of case studies will provide best practice guidance on how practitioners with responsibilities for flood management can effectively work together to enhance local planning, risk assessment and recovery measures to successfully prepare for and prevent flooding and it’s impact on local infrastructure, businesses and civilians. Themes explored throughout will include sustainable drainage, community leadership, emergency response and decision-making.


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

  • Flood Risk Managers
  • Emergency Planning Officers
  • Heads of Planning
  • Heads of Resilience
  • Risk & Resilience Managers
  • Operations Managers
  • Project & Major Projects Managers
  • Asset Managers
  • Civil Contingencies Managers
  • District Commanders
  • Business Continuity Managers

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

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Robbie Craig, Policy Advisor, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra)
  • Ian Hodge, Deputy Director of Investment and Delivery Assurance, Environment Agency
  • Paul Cobbing, Chief Executive, National Flood Forum
  • David Ifould, Principal Landscape Architect, Groundwork London
  • Rachel Glossop, Flood Risk Planning Manager, Hull City Council
  • Hilary Ellis, Principal Officer – Sustainable Drainage, Cambridgeshire County Council
View the agenda and additional speakers


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Lindsey McEwen, Professor in Environmental Management, and Co-Director, Centre for Floods, Communities and Resilience, University of the West of England (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Investing in Flood Protection - The Government Perspective

  • 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
  • Reflecting on the impact of this funding to date
  • 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: What does this mean in practice
  • Reducing flooding risk and impact by expanding the use of natural flood management solutions, investing in 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: The Work of the Environment Agency in Tackling Flooding

  • 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, regional flood and coastal committees, and fire and rescue to develop and implement flood effective protection schemes

Ian Hodge, Deputy Director of Investment and Delivery Assurance, Environment Agency (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Coordinating Local Community Action to Enhance Flood Resilience

  • Securing £20,000 from United Utilities towards the construction of an attenuation pond and embankment defence, in partnership with the Environment Agency and Wyre Borough Council
  • Working with Wyre Borough Council to review the town’s Local Flood Action Plan, conduct a topographical analysis, and identify opportunities to improve response strategies
  • Funding £3000 to host a free flood conference to inform and educate local residents about flood risks and prevention strategies, attended by over 150 people
  • Successfully applying for, and receiving, grants on behalf of local residents to protect against further flooding
  • Obtaining £50,000 from the Government to investigate SuDs in the Wyre Catchment area; reporting on progress
  • Outlining the benefits and challenges of collaborating with local authorities, FLAGs, and other local stakeholders to bolster flood defence

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: Establishing a Multi-Agency Initiative to Develop an Integrated Flood Management Strategy

  • Forming the Living with Water partnership, which brings together Yorkshire Water, Hull City Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the Environment Agency to develop a joint strategy for holistic flood management
  • Creating sustainable, innovative and long-term solutions that work in harmony with the environment and provide wider benefits to the local community, including access to green space, improved air quality and biodiversity benefits
  • Collaborating with, and learning from, academics, urban designers and resilience experts; ensuring a wide breadth of expertise is incorporated into strategy development and implementation
  • Sharing updates on plans to develop and pilot a new City Water Resilience Index, in collaboration with The Rockefeller Foundation, designed to help cities better prepare for and respond to shocks and stresses to their water systems

Rachel Glossop, Flood Risk Planning Manager, Hull City Council (CONFIRMED)

Lee Pitcher, Head of Resilience, Yorkshire Water, and Manager, Living with Water (CONFIRMED)


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: Demonstrating the Benefits of Effective Partnership Working in the Management of Local Flood Risk

  • Establishing the Cambridgeshire Flood Risk Management Partnership (CFRMP) to bring together key stakeholders and adopt a coordinated and collaborative approach to meet the Council’s statutory duties
  • Highlighting how Cambridgeshire County Council works with partners to implement flood risk management
  • Formulating a comprehensive county-wide Flood and Water Supplementary Planning Document to ensure SuDS are integrated into development and provide guidance on the implementation of local plan policies
  • Working with developers and their consultants to learn from each other, ensuring new developments are sustainable and appropriately designed

Hilary Ellis, Principal Officer – Sustainable Drainage, Cambridgeshire County Council (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Working in Partnership to Deliver Effective Sustainable Drainage Systems

  • Delivering high-impact, low-cost retrofit sustainable drainage solutions across three social housing estates in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham to reduce flooding
  • Working in collaboration with the Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council’s Housing Department and Flood Risk Team to secure funding and operational support for effective delivery of the project
  • Ensuring that broad flood risk concerns and more immediate resident issues, such as surface water pooling, were taken into consideration during planning and implementation
  • Receiving almost universal support from local residents as a result of ensuring ongoing consultation and frequent communication via the Tenant and Resident Association
  • Engaging the University of East London to undertake post-completion monitoring of ground-level SuDS components utilising weather stations, flow sensors, pressure sensors, and time-lapse photography
  • Sharing wider benefits of the scheme beyond flood prevention, such as health and recreation, crime reduction and environmental education

David Ifould, Principal Landscape Architect, Groundwork London (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Effectively Planning, Organising and Delivering a Local Flood Defence Project

  • Detailing the process of securing £55 million in Government funding to plan, develop and deliver a flood defence barrier to future-proof 1,600 homes in Ipswich from flooding from the River Orwell
  • Outlining how the council was able to successfully raise the necessary additional £12 million required to complete the project, such as working with the New Anglia LEP
  • Sharing details around how the key stakeholders and partners were involved in the various stages of planning and development of the scheme, and how resources and expertise were effectively utilised to ensure effective project management
  • Exploring the challenges and lessons learnt around managing and maintaining a project over the long-term, and assessing best practice in strategic planning across different local and national government administrations

Russell Williams, Chief Executive, Ipswich Borough Council (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


Chair's Summary and Close

*Programme subject to change


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 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. 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.

In order to effectively protect local communities from the ever-increasing risk of flooding, cross-sector working between local authorities, fire and rescue services 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.

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