Floods & Water Management Bill
24 November 2009
The draft Flood and Water Management Bill covered a wide range of water related issues including sustainable drainage systems (SUDS), reservoir safety and corporate rescue and insolvency for undertakers alongside new provisions for flood management. Over the summer various bodies have been issuing their responses.
Concerns have been raised over the proposed flood risk management structure, Defra's assumptions on funding, and the construction, operation and maintenance of SUDS. Local authorities will have a 'lead role' in flood risk management and the Local Government Association is particularly concerned over the increased financial burden placed on local authorities as a result of these new responsibilities.
The draft Bill has also been scrutinised by the Parliamentary Committee for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (the EFRA Committee) which produced a critical report in September. The current draft Bill was described as a "confusing mix of measures" that was a far cry from the comprehensive strategy recommended by Sir Michael Pitt in his review of the Summer 2007 floods. The EFRA Committee considered that Defra "has a long way to go" and was doubtful whether the draft Bill could reach the statute book in this Parliament.
The Government included a Floods and Water Management Bill in the Queen's Speech of 18 November 2009. For advice on the issues raised during the passage of that Bill please contact Michael Barlow on +44 (0)117 902 7708 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Simon Tilling on +44 (0)117 902 7794 or email@example.com.