Environment Agency launches consultation to give communities more say in how rivers are managed
The Environment Agency has been working with partners to consider proposals to ‘re-designate’ sections of watercourses in a number of locations The Environment Agency is considering proposals to transfer ‘flood risk management activities’ on a number of stretches of watercourses to internal drainage boards (IDBs), lead local flood authorities (LLFAs) and district councils. This will only happen where the watercourses have a low level of flood risk, are not associated with major rivers or major city centres and where the local community supports the change.
A transfer would mean that IDBs, LLFAs and district councils can take on more responsibility for their local flood risk, where appropriate – by carrying out activities such as maintenance or giving permission to carry out works. The Environment Agency has been working with partners to consider proposals to ‘re-designate’ sections of watercourses in a number of locations. The watercourses will be re-designated from what is currently known as a ‘main river’ to an ‘ordinary watercourse’ – a change referred to as ‘de-maining’.
Rachael Hill, Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for the Environment Agency, said:
The project aims to bring more choice to communities and local organisations in how watercourses are managed and maintained. We want to strengthen local flood risk management and decision-making by ensuring the right people are managing the right watercourses.
We want to hear from anyone who is affected by, or interested in, the proposals. This consultation explains how the proposed sections of watercourse are currently managed and funded and provides details on future management and funding if de-maining goes ahead.
The project is exploring the potential to re-designate several sections of selected main rivers as ordinary watercourses in: various rivers in Suffolk (East Anglia), South Forty Foot Catchment in Lincolnshire and Stour Marshes in Kent. But if there is support for the approach it could pave the way for further de-maining in England. Click here for more information