ARCHIVE: Local Authorities
Local authorities have powers to undertake flood defence works under the Land Drainage Act 1991 on watercourses which have not been designated as main and which are not within internal drainage board areas; there are also 88 maritime district councils which have powers to protect the land against coastal erosion under the Coast Protection Act 1949.
Local authorities, working through local and regional resilience forums, lead in;
- planning for emergencies, including flooding events
- dealing with the consequences of flooding such as humanitarian assistance, emergency housing and clear up operations
- building and maintaining defences on ordinary watercourses.
The grant aid process for local authority flood risk and coastal erosion projects is operated by the Environment Agency.
As part of consideration of a strategic overview role for the Environment Agency for all flood and coastal erosion risk management issues a report on capacity and skills in coast protection authorities was published on 12 April 2006.
As a direct result of the floods which affected large parts of the country during the summer of 2007, Sir Michael Pitt carried out an independent review which looked at its causes and subsequent management to see what lessons needed to be learned about how to manage and respond to this type of event in the future. Sir Michael's final report was published on 25 June 2008.
The Secretary of State published the Government's response to Sir Michael’s Review on the 17 December 2008. It sets out a clear action plan to deliver against the challenging agenda identified by Sir Michael.
The Government has previously announced that under the Environment Agency’s new strategic overview role in England for all sources of flood risk, local authorities will take responsibility for surface water management, including Surface Water Management Plans.
modified: 17 December 2008
Page published: 17 December 2008