Our Chief Executive, Andy Sawford spoke on Monday at a Labour fringe conference on “Protecting businesses and people from flooding: Making the case for spending on flood defences” with Huw Irranca-Davies, Labour shadow minister for Flooding, and Minister Dougie Barnett, Head of Customer Risk Management at AXA.
Andy highlighted the challenge local authorities are facing – in light of imminent cuts – in providing adequate solutions to flooding. Additionally, Andy suggested that longer term issues of demographic change and climate change also need to be taken into account. He stated that the Pitt review could be a good starting point in addressing these problems, as local authorities managed to pressure the government to embed flooding legislation into law.
Andy suggested that local authorities should take a lead on river management; but he acknowledged the costs are often borne twice by those affected by floods. Due to a lack of awareness of the risks of flooding, Andy also called for more debate in communities on how best to deal with flooding.
In the Q and A session Andy emphasised local authorities’ role in providing the right advice to homeowners and businesses. He concluded that individuals have the personal responsibility to find out what they need to do during and after a flood.