More than five million properties in England are at risk from flooding, according to the chief executive of the environment agency (EA).
Speaking at the Local Government Association (LGA) conference, Sir James Bevan urged local authorities to work closely together, as well as with the EA, in preparing for future floods.
Sir Bevan warned the risk of flooding is going to increase because of climate change and a rise in housebuilding, and he called on councils to ‘work together in a real partnership’.
He also acknowledged councils will have to do more with less funding in the future, a point Cllr David Borrow from Lancashire CC—a county that was hit by flooding last year—also emphasised during the discussion.
Sir Bevan stressed it is impossible to be 100% safe from flooding and said councils should focus more on flood risk management by planning for floods ‘25 years into the future’.
An important part of this preparation, he said, is ensuring flood resilience is integrated into community planning and working closely with the people from communities at risk.
Sir Bevan also complimented local authorities for the fact that 98% of their flood defence plans are inline with the EA’s recommendations.