New focus on flooding after Storm Desmond

liz truss cumbria floods,

A new Cumbrian Floods Partnership group will consider what improvements to flood defences may be needed, look at upstream options for slowing key rivers to reduce the intensity of water flows at peak times and build stronger links between local residents, community groups and flood defence planners.

The group will publish a Cumbria Action Plan next summer and will be chaired by floods minister Rory Stewart and made up of local authorities, the Environment Agency and community groups.

Ms Truss said: “After seeing first-hand the impact of the flooding in the North of England it is clear that the growing threat from more extreme weather events means we must reassure ourselves, and those communities at risk, that our defences, our modelling and our future plans are robust.

The environment secretary also announced today a National Flood Resilience Review to better protect the country from future flooding and increasingly extreme weather events.

She outlined how her department would look afresh at how we calculate flood risk, in light of recent events, to be delivered by a new cross-government team.

This will see staff updating ‘worst case scenario’ planning, considering the future impacts of climate change and carrying out a risk assessment of critical infrastructure, like electricity substations.

The review, also to be published next summer, will be led by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Letwin and include the government’s chief scientist, Defra, DECC, DCLG, HMT and the chief executive of the Environment Agency.

“We are already spending £2.3 billion over the next six years to better protect 300,000 homes from flooding, but we need to be sure we have the very best possible plans in place for flood prevention and protection across the whole country,” added Ms Truss.