Tell us your views on new plan to tackle flooding

Friday, February 12, 2021

Lancashire County Council, Blackburn with Darwen Council and Blackpool Council are asking for people's views on a new strategy which outlines their plans to reduce the risk of local flooding.

As Lead Local Flood Authorities, these councils have a range of powers, duties and responsibilities for managing flood risk from certain local sources, and the strategy sets out how they plan to work with communities, and many other organisations responsible for managing flood risk, over the coming years.

The Local Flood Risk Management Strategy for Lancashire 2021-27 sets out a vision for the county becoming a place where people and businesses are well equipped to respond to flooding, understand the challenges involved, and make the most of opportunities to improve things in future.

The document explains the context for flooding in Lancashire, and how the councils' responsibilities fit in with those of other organisations such as the Environment Agency, and water and sewage companies.

The particular sources of flooding which councils are responsible for are surface water, groundwater and for regulating some local passages, such as streams and drains, which are defined as 'ordinary watercourses'.

The strategy also outlines the particular local flood risks and challenges facing each part of the county, and how these can be addressed, along with a business plan setting out how and when measures will be put in place to achieve these aims.

The three councils are working together in recognition that water doesn’t respect administrative boundaries, and that there are benefits of working in partnership to deliver a shared vision.

An online survey is now available to give people the opportunity to put forward their views on the strategy.

County Councillor Albert Atkinson, Lancashire County Council cabinet member with responsibility for flood risk management, said: "The devastating flooding which Lancashire experienced in 2015, along with the increasing frequency of flood events due to our changing climate, means we are all too aware of the terrible impact which flooding can have.

"Since 2010 local councils have had powers and responsibilities to improve the way flood risk is managed in their areas, and this strategy sets out how we plan to work with our neighbouring councils, other organisations responsible for managing water, and local communities, over the next six years.

"Considerable progress has already been made by working with partners to secure funding for several large flood alleviation and coastal defence schemes, reducing risk to thousands of properties.

"This strategy sets the course for continuing this momentum by outlining where our efforts will be focused in order to further improve our understanding of flood risk, and how best we can work together to improve flood resilience.

"Everyone has a part to play in this, and I would ask people to take a look at the strategy and let us know what they think."

Councillor Jim Hobson, Blackpool Council cabinet member for climate change and environment, said: "We have all seen the devastation that floods can cause to properties, businesses and local infrastructure, which is why it's so important for us to manage flood risk responsibly.

"The goal of this collaborative effort is to implement as robust a plan as possible which will protect our communities in the future, but we can only achieve this aim if people let us know their thoughts on our strategy.

"Please don't miss the opportunity to have your say – let's all work together to ensure we are protected."

Councillor Jane Oates, who represents Blackburn with Darwen Council on the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (RFCC), said: "Many residents naturally look to the council for support and advice in times of crisis and flooding. In Blackburn with Darwen we have invested in various flood mitigation works over recent years to help better protect our communities.

"Currently we are onsite with construction of a new culvert off Livesey Branch Road which will reduce potential flooding issues to 45 properties at Old Gates Drive and also flooding of the electric substation.

"It’s really important that we continue to listen to the views of our residents based on localised issues and concerns to make sure any practical measures can be addressed with the relevant agency.

"It’s also important that people living in flood risk communities can best prepare themselves for the possibility of flooding and have plans in place for if the worst happens."

Take a look the strategy and complete the online survey.

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