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Mouchel Group

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Mouchel provides integrated planning, environment, engineering and land consultancy services helping clients to assemble land for development and to secure planning and environmental consents. We have combined our long-standing land referencing, development control and environmental assessment practices to create a comprehensive service to land-bank managers and developers. We identify constraints relating to land, manage risks, and work with clients to realise their social economic and commercial aspirations.

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Belinda Totton

Export House
Woking
Surrey
EC1N 2ST
www.mouchel.com

Local authorities sceptical about flood risk funding

Local authorities welcome new roles to tackle the risk of local flooding, outlined in the Draft Flood and Water Management Bill, but have expressed concerns that they will require more resources and support to meet their new responsibilities, according to research commissioned by three leading associations.

The research, which was conducted by consulting and business group Mouchel on behalf of the CSS (formerly the County Surveyors' Society), the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Improvement and Development Agency for local government (IDeA), examined the impacts that the legislation will have on local authorities. It reveals that, while local authorities have a good awareness of their new responsibilities as outlined in the Draft Bill, many are unclear as to how these should be implemented in practice.

The Draft Flood and Water Management Bill, which closed for consultation at the end of July, proposes that local authorities take a leadership role in local flood risk management, yet all councils questioned by Mouchel expressed concerns about the shortage of flood risk management staff in the industry and the lack of clarity over how the burden of these new roles and responsibilities will be funded.

The research, procured through Mouchel's framework with Lincolnshire County Council, also revealed that local authorities unanimously discounted the Bill's claims of potential savings.

Jonathan Wright, Director of Flooding and Environmental Management at Mouchel, said: "There are common concerns over the implementation of the Bill. The Bill outlines fundamental changes to the way we look at flood risk management in the UK and, while measures to improve management are of course to be welcomed, it is not clear how local authorities should actually go about meeting these responsibilities and where the money will come from to pay for it.

Most local authorities do not currently have staff dedicated to flood risk management on a full time basis and will have to create new roles, which will require extensive resources and funding. Local authorities are sceptical that the £16M funding announced by Government to date will be sufficient given their new responsibilities."

The study findings were used by the CSS, LGA and IDeA in the preparation of their responses to the Draft Flood and Water Management Bill consultation.

For further information please email Mouchel Services Ltd

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