Cabinet received a report which introduced the statutory requirement for Peterborough to have a local flood risk management strategy and presented the resulting Draft Peterborough Flood Risk Management Strategy (FMS). Cabinet was to be consulted on the proposals and its approval was sought for public consultation to take place. The report further requested Cabinet to consider the formal recommendation from the Sustainable Growth and Environment Capital Scrutiny Committee that the City Council’s Constitution be amended to make the FMS a Major Policy item.
Councillor Hiller introduced the item and advised that under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 (FWMA 2010) Peterborough City Council had been made a lead local flood authority, with responsibility for coordinating the management of surface water flood risk.
Further key points highlighted by Councillor Hiller included the duty of Lead Local Authorities to develop, maintain, apply and monitor a ‘local flood risk management strategy’; the proposal to publically consult on the draft document for a period of six weeks, and with any changes being made prior to the document being presented to Full Council for adoption early in 2015; the agreement by flood risk management authorities in Peterborough that the Strategy would cover all sources of flood risk, not just those managed by the City Council; the excellent relationship that the Council had with all risk management authorities allowing for better coordination of approach and to ensure that projects and schemes were as efficient as possible and that joint funding opportunities were sought for those schemes; and the Strategy being well received by the Scrutiny Committee and its recommendation that the Strategy become part of the Major Policy Framework.
Members congratulated the Flood and Water Management Officer on the production of the Strategy, which was of extremely high quality.
Cabinet considered the report and RESOLVED:
1. To approve the Draft Peterborough Flood Risk Management Strategy for the purpose of it being publicly consulted on during October and November 2014;
2. To support the proposal of the Sustainable Growth and Environment Capital Scrutiny Committee to include further explanatory text in the Flood Risk Management Strategy prior to its publication, as set out in paragraph 5.7 of the report; and
3. To support the recommendation of the Sustainable Growth and Environment Capital Scrutiny Committee to amend the Constitution and thereby place the Flood Risk Management Strategy as a Major Policy Item.
REASONS FOR THE DECISION
The FMS would:
· Meet statutory requirements;
· Make Peterborough more resilient to flooding;
· Help to co-ordinate and attract investment into Peterborough for both flood risk
management and wider environmental and amenity improvements;
· Assist with delivering a sustainable city that can embrace growth targets
· Be a reference guide for City Council officers, Flood Warden, Parish Council and communities who want to more know more about flood and water management.
ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS CONSIDERED
The Council was required to produce a local flood risk management strategy in accordance with its duties as a Lead Local Flood Authority. It was therefore not an option to not produce a strategy. The only available alternative was to produce a document that covered only the sources of flooding that Peterborough City Council was responsible for. This option was rejected in favour of preparing a plan in partnership with all other flood risk management authorities, covering all sources of flood risk. The chosen option was believed to be more useful for the reader, more efficient and more likely to enable Peterborough to draw down partnership funding.