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Committee demands flood-risk management overhaul

There should be a major revamp of flood risk management according to MPs

The Environment and Rural Affairs committee is issuing its suggestions for changing the way we cope with the growing tide of flooding events across the UK.

The group of MPs, chaired by Tiverton and Honiton MP Neil Parish, is calling for the instigation of a UK floods supremo who would oversee new flooding and coastal boards. They also want to set up a rivers and coastal authority.

It follows a series of events that have caused severe floods in the south east of England, Somerset, Cumbria, Wales, Yorkshire, Devon and Cornwall. Neil Parish’s constituency is in one of the areas that has suffered.

He says that the committee is not satisfied with the Environment Agency’s performance and wants the Government to remove its powers in these particular areas. Parish concludes that the current framework for coping with floods in not fit for purpose with climate change in progress..

Among the practical solutions being suggested in order to cope with warmer and wetter weather is the storage of floodwater on agricultural land. Planners also come under the committee’s spotlight. It is urging ministers to introduce tougher rules on housing development.

Richfords Fire & Flood’s business development director, Michael Cooper is also welcoming the MPs calling for stricter standards on repairing flooded homes;

“Change is needed to ensure that victims of flooding can be assured that the work being carried out on their properties after an event is of high quality but avoids unnecessary stripping out of floors, walls and ceilings.”

“There is now a new British Standard for Damage Management (BS12999). Richfords is calling on the committee and the Government to focus on this as the route to ensuring that quality is achieved.”

The government has issued a statement saying that it does not see any reason to instigate organisational change.