Posted by: westlancashirerecord | November 17, 2016

In The Front Line When Floods Hit Local Communities

The Civil Contingencies Act (2004) requires Category 1 Responders to have plans in place to respond to all emergencies. The development of its Multi Agency Flood Plan (MAFP) allows all responding organisations such as local authorities and service providers to work together on an agreed, co-ordinated response to flooding.

Now, West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper rosiepink is calling on the Lancashire Resilience Forum lancsresforum which is chaired by the Assistant Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary to publicly release the full multi-agency flooding debrief examining the events and the response to the Boxing Day floods of 2015 which decimated hundreds of communities across Lancashire, including much of West Lancashire. Over the last year Rosie has been working with individuals, community representatives, local flood action groups and the key flood agencies on solutions to better protect local communities for the future. In July, MP Rosie hosted a flooding forum meeting in Ormskirk to get all parties round the table on working together on the action required to tackle flooding incidents.

As the 12-month anniversary of the 2015 floods approaches, the role of individual homeowners and the wider community in being the frontline when floods hit in the future is becoming increasingly important. MP Rosie is concerned that local residents are not as involved as they should be with all the agencies if they are expected to be an integral part of future flood resilience plans. To ensure communities are able to play a full role in responding to flooding threats, she wants the full multi-agency debrief to be published. Doing so will help inform the conversations that need to take place to understand what happened last year and how communities and agencies can be better equipped for next time. rosieflood

Through Lancashire County Council, MP Rosie has made a formal request that this full debrief report is published. Speaking about her request, Rosie said “Flooding on the scale West Lancashire experienced in 2012 and 2015, which left homes and businesses devastated, is a real threat in the future. We can no longer believe that such severe rainfall and the inability of our systems to cope with this amount of water are one off events that happen every thirty, fifty or one hundred years. No government department or local agency is able to offer any solution to prevent this scale of flooding. Instead the answers are to find ways to respond quicker and protect homes where possible.

“Communities need to have the tools to be able to respond when there is a threat of flooding. Information for understanding previous flooding incidents is one of those tools. That is why I have called on the Lancashire Resilience Forum to publish the full debrief document. This is not about pointing fingers and laying blame. In order to protect communities the best we can then they need to have all the information they can get. Communities could be left stranded when they next face the threat of their homes and businesses being devastated”.

In recent weeks Lancashire County Council as the Lead Local Flood Authority published their Section 19 report on the 2015 floods, as they are legally required to do under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. We’ll bring news of it as we receive it.

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