Communicate, protect, and raise awareness - an evidence session on flood resilience and recovery

These were the key themes arising in the discussion on flood resilience and recovery led by Baroness McIntosh of Pickering yesterday. This was the third evidence session part of the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum’s (WSBF) Bricks and Water inquiry.

Baroness McIntosh, inquiry chair, opened up the discussion drawing attention to the need for focussed work and action to put flooding on the agenda, noting the opportunities linked to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.

Joining the session were guest speakers:

  • Ed Barsley, The Environmental Design Studio,
  • Simon Crowther, Flood Protection Solutions, and
  • Dermot Kehoe, Flood Re.

Our expert speakers set the scene by sharing stories of flooding, sharing ideas of how to create resilient homes, and noting how homeowners can be incentivised to implement Property Flood Resilience (PFR) measures to protect their homes from flooding. We were also given insights into the works of Flood Re and their ‘Build Back Better’ scheme, which aims to make homes more resilient proactively. Efforts are also made to make insurance schemes more affordable to those on lower incomes and deprived communities.

Following on from our speakers, the floor opened for general questions from the attendees. Much of the discussion focussed on the need for co-ordinated approaches to effectively communicate flood risk and the lack of trusted voices in the flood resilience market combining with a large number of available flood-resilience products. We also explored the difference between national and localised flood mapping and the obstacles tied to this division, and the impact of cost of living and how to make use of the crisis to boost the understanding of flood risk.

This session leads us into the next steps of the evidence gathering for Bricks and Water. Shortly, WSBF will launch its written call for evidence building on the conversations had until now and will lead into the fourth and final evidence session later this summer.