After much preparatory work and engagement with Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs), the Environment Agency (EA) and other partners involved, Defra has given the green light to a number of pilot projects to propose to “de-main” certain sections of main river across the country.
The Association of Drainage Authorities (ADA) reports that the process involves investigating the passing of river maintenance and operational activities from the EA to IDBs where there is mutual agreement, a locally generated appetite, and benefit to do so.
Commenting on the announcement, Innes Thomson, ADA’s Chief Executive said: “These pilots have been a long time coming and ADA warmly welcomes Defra’s decision to go ahead. Many people have worked hard to prepare the way and we all look forward to working together to make these pilots work for everyone.”
Equally pleased with the Defra’s announcement, the EA’s Director for Flood & Coastal Risk Management Strategy, Catherine Wright, added that this is a great opportunity to understand community support for the local management of low flood risk watercourses. “We will be working closely with ADA, IDBs and other interested groups to make the pilots a success.”