Innovative action plan gets funding to reduce the impact of flooding across West Yorkshire

An innovative plan to reduce the impact of flooding and climate change in West Yorkshire over the next six years is being launched during national Flood Action Week.

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 12:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 12:58 pm
Each local authority will take a lead on one of the themes, with Wakefield Council taking the lead on Enhanced Flood Warning Systems.

Spearheaded by five local Lead Flood Authorities across the region, the West Yorkshire Flood Innovation Programme (FLIP) has just achieved a successful bid for £160k local levy funding from the Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee to get it off the ground.

The programme will cut across local authority boundaries, recognising that flood risk needs to be tackled across the river catchment area with the aim of reducing the impact of both river and groundwater flooding. The programme will incorporate the following five themes:

Integrated water management solutions (IWMS)

Nature based solutions (NBS)

Property flood resilience (PFR),

Helping the community and voluntary sector (CVS) to be better prepared and recover more quickly

Enhanced flood warning systems (EFWS)

Each local authority will take a lead on one of the themes, with Wakefield Council taking the lead on Enhanced Flood Warning Systems.

The programme will take a collaborative approach by engaging with and empowering communities; developing education and skills within communities who live with the risk of flooding; and developing support networks and sharing innovative solutions.

Scientific support and programme monitoring will also be provided by the University of Leeds through the Integrated Catchment and Solutions Programme (iCASP).

Coun Matthew Morley, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Highways, said: “Adverse weather is a national concern and climate change is likely to increase the likelihood of more storms having an impact.

"The effects of flooding can be devastating, not only the huge financial impacts and the affects to our local economy, but also to the health and wellbeing of residents and business owners that are affected.

“That’s why this funding is so important, as we all work together to explore new and innovative ways to better protect and improve the resilience of our local communities from flooding. Wakefield Council will be playing a full and active role for the benefit of the Wakefield district.”

Flood Action Week, which runs this week (Monday 22 to Sunday November 28) and a national Flood Action Campaign ‘Prepare. Act. Survive’ is being led by the Environment Agency.

In England there are more than five million homes and businesses at risk of flooding. The average cost of flooding to a home is around £30,000.

The campaign aims to raise awareness amongst property owners of the importance of preparing for and knowing what to do in a flood as this helps to significantly reduce the damages to homes and businesses and reduces risk to life.

The ‘Prepare. Act. Survive.’ flood plan can help people to take precautions and reduce the likelihood of suffering from mental health impacts of flooding in the future.