An eight week public consultation has been launched by the chair of the Environment Agency Emma Howard Boyd on a major, long-term national strategy to tackle flooding and coastal change.
Luddendenfoot flood warden Katie Kimber is among those urging members of the public to have their say on the new standards which will help to ensure communities are resilient to the threat of flooding posed by climate change and will appear in a video featured on social media as part of the national drive.
The Environment Agency is preparing for a potential 4°C rise in global temperature and urgent action is needed to tackle more frequent, intense flooding and sea level rise. The draft strategy calls for all infrastructure to be flood resilient by 2050 and an average of £1 billion to be invested each year in traditional flood and coastal defences and natural flood management. The National Audit Office has previously reported that for every £1 spent on protecting communities, around £9 in property damages and wider impacts is avoided.
Emma said: “We can’t win a war against water by building away climate change with infinitely high flood defences. We need to develop consistent standards for flood and coastal resilience in England that help communities better understand their risk and give them more control about how to adapt and respond.”
As well as taking precautions to prepare for flooding and prevent damage, the strategy calls for more to be done to encourage property owners to ‘build back better’ after a flood. This could involve home improvements to make them more resilient, such as raised electrics, hard flooring and flood doors. The Environment Agency will work with government, insurers and financial institutions to review how to bring about this change by 2025.
The Flood and Coastal Risk Management Strategy consultation will run from 9 May until 4 July 2019. Once the consultation has closed, the Environment Agency will review the responses and publish a final document which will then be laid before Parliament in Winter 2019.
This strategy a key commitment in the government’s 25 Year Environment plan to improve the environment within a generation, leaving it in a better state than we found it. To read the strategy and have your say visit: https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/fcrm/national-strategy-public/