Sir Michael said: "Research published as part of my report today shows that the risk of flooding continues to escalate; making the events that shattered so many communities last year an ever increasing threat.
"I urge the Government to show leadership and urgently set out the process and timescale for improving resilience in the UK. The recommendations in my report are realistic and affordable and should be made a priority. Waiting for another serious event is a dangerous ‘strategy of luck’; we need to act now to protect our future."
The report says the government should:
• Establish a Cabinet Committee dedicated to tackling the risk of flooding, bringing flooding in line with other major risks such as pandemic flu and terrorism;
• Publish monthly summaries of progress during the recovery phase of major flooding events, including number of households still displaced;
• Ensure proper resourcing of flood resilience measures, with above inflation increases every spending review;
• Establish a National Resilience Forum to facilitate national level planning for flooding and other emergencies;
• Have pre planned, rather than ad hoc, financial arrangements in place for responding to the financial burden of exceptional emergencies;
• Publish an action plan to implement the recommendations in this review, with regular progress updates.
Commenting on the role of Local Authorities, Sir Michael said: "Local authorities should play a major role in the management of local flood risk, taking the lead in tackling local problems of flooding and co-ordinating all relevant agencies. Upper tier authorities should establish oversight and scrutiny committees to review work being undertaken to reduce flood risk and publish annual updates on the work undertaken."
Posted on 3rd July 2008
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