Following the severe flooding in the north of England in 2007, in July 2010, the Flood and Water Management Act set out the new governance for dealing with flooding. The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 and the Flood Risk Regulations 2009 have placed new duties on local authorities. These new duties mean there is now greater clarity regarding the lead for management of flooding such as surface water, groundwater and flooding from ordinary watercourses. The lead for managing these local types of flooding now falls to Lead Local Flood Authorities, namely Local Authorities.
The London Borough of Barnet has been designated a Lead Local Flood Authority and as such has a statutory responsibility for leading the co-ordination of local flood risk management within the borough. This includes ensuring that flood risks from local sources, including surface water runoff, groundwater and ordinary watercourses and their interactions, are identified and managed.
Across the borough we have experienced flooding incidents every year since 2010. This flooding is often localised, but these events highlight that flooding can occur at any time with potentially devastating consequences. The surface water flooding experienced in 2012 further reinforces the risk faced by the borough from local sources. Climate change is predicted to result in more storm events and even greater levels of rainfall, and consequently the probability of flooding is increasing.
The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 and Flood Risk Regulations 2009 set out a number of responsibilities for managing flood risk. As a Lead Local Flood Authority we are required to:
- Manage local flood risk such as groundwater flooding, surface water run-off and ordinary watercourses;
- Prepare and maintain a strategy for local flood risk management and work in collaboration with other organisations such as the Environment Agency and Thames Water to mitigate flood risk;
- Establish and maintain a register of assets – these are physical features that have an effect on flooding;
- Investigate and record flooding incidents and make the results from these investigations public;
- Respond to every reported flooding incident and make an assessment whether to carry out a detailed investigation under the terms of the Act;
- Establish approval bodies for design, building and operation of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS), to make sure that run-off water from any developments is managed in a way, which does not increase the risk of flooding anywhere else; and Undertake emergency planning, to ensure we are prepared, find out ways to see if you are at risk, and determine what can be done to reduce the impact of flooding.
Local flood risk management strategy for Barnet
The London Borough of Barnet has a duty, under Section 9 of the Flood and Water Management Act (2010), to put in place a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy to manage all sources of local flood risks consistent with EU and national risk management approaches.
Between May and June 2017, we undertook a public consultation on the draft Local Flood Risk Management Strategy. The strategy is consistent with the regulations set out in the Flood Water Management Act and provides a clear strategic approach to managing flood risk within the borough. This draft strategy will be formally adopted once it is approved by the Council’s Environment Committee on 28 November 2018.
This Local Strategy sets out to achieve the following:
- Produce a summary of local flood risk within the London Borough of Barnet
- Identify the roles and responsibilities of Risk Management Authorities
- Demonstrate the Council’s position as a Lead Local Flood Authority
- Outline the national and local objectives and measures for managing flood risk within Barnet
- Identify the possible funding sources and the feasible implementation approaches
The strategy has ten local objectives. These local objectives have been developed to be consistent in line with the national objectives, which have been previously outlined in the National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy (2011) and have been developed in collaboration with the relevant Risk Management Authorities. These objectives are outlined below:
- Prevent risks of flooding in new developments
- Promote flood resistance and resilience
- Evaluate maintenance and update the flood risk asset register
- Prepare emergency plans for flood warnings and alerts, efficient response to flood incidents and emergency recovery following a flood incident
- Establish and maintain long term partnership working, both internally within Barnet Council departments and externally with other Risk Management Authorities
- Update and review hydraulic modelling of Critical Drainage Areas Modelling of Barnet catchment sewerage network
- Develop, maintain, apply and monitor a strategy for local flood risk management of the area
- Prepare flood hazard maps and flood risk maps
- Prepare flood risk management plans