Who has Responsibility in a Flood?

There is no single organisation responsible for all flooding across Calderdale. Instead, we use a multi-agency approach with different organisations (and even members of the community) managing different types of flooding.

The table below explains exactly who each organisation is and what their responsibilities are.

Calderdale Council

As the Lead Local Flood Authority, Calderdale Council is accountable for ensuring effective management of local flood risks in cooperation with other ‘risk management’ authorities. We are also responsible for investigating flooding, maintaining a register of locations or features that may have a significant effect on flood risk, and drawing up and maintaining a Flood Risk Management Strategy. The basic duty of responsibility for watercourses remains with the riparian owners.  (Land Drainage Act 1991)

The Local Authority will become a statutory consultee to the planning authority under the latest arrangements for Sustainable Drainage, due to commence on 6 April 2015.

The Environment Agency

The Environment Agency is responsible for flood risk management activities on main rivers, regulating reservoir safety, and providing river flood warnings. It has powers to undertake work on main rivers to fix flooding issues.

Contact the Environment Agency if you are having a flooding issue from a main river, reservoir, or if you wish to carry out work on a main river.

Town and Parish Councils & local communities

Town and Parish Councils, as well as local communities, both play an important role in managing flood risk at the community level. They can help gather and report information on flooding, prepare Community and Household Flood Plans, or even by becoming a Flood Warden. Communities and Parish or Town Councils can also be crucial in helping raise additional funding for local flood defence measures, and for undertaking regular maintenance.

Highways Agency

The Highways Agency is responsible for drainage on the M62 motorway in Calderdale.

Yorkshire Water

Water and sewerage companies are responsible for managing the flooding and flood risk from public sewers and water mains across the county. This includes maintaining essential water supply and sewerage services during a flood, and in some instances playing a role in surface water incidents.

Contact Yorkshire Water in the event of flooding from one of their burst water mains or sewers.

Riparian Owners

(landowner of any kind; be it a homeowner, business owner, community, farmer, developer, authority, tenant with property immediately adjacent to a watercourse)

Riparian owners are responsible for maintaining and clearing debris (even if this is not from their land) from the watercourse or ditch as well as vegetation on the banks, in order to keep these clear and prevent flooding. As a riparian owner you could face legal action if a lack of maintenance of your watercourse causes flooding.

More information on riparian ownership here

Where can I get more information?

If you would like to get a better understanding of flooding, visit the Environment Agency website or call Floodline on 0345 988 1188.  For information and practical advice on what to do before, during and after a flood, you can download materials from the Gov.uk publications catalogue or order them from Floodline.