A consultation which aims to give communities and local organisations more say in the ways in which rivers are managed and maintained, was launched yesterday (15th January), reports the Environment Agency.
Under the Rationalizing the Main River (RMRN) de-maining pilot project, the Environment Agency has proposed to transfer flood risk management activities on the following sections of river and assets from the Environment Agency to the internal drainage boards (IDBs), lead local flood authorities (LLFAs) and district councils listed below.
- Suffolk Rivers, Suffolk – 3 stretches of low risk watercourse (approximately 22.4 km) are proposed for de-maining to East Suffolk Internal Drainage Board and Suffolk County Council working with Suffolk Coastal District Council and Waveney District Council.
- South Forty Foot Catchment, South Lincolnshire – 5 stretches of low risk watercourse, all tributaries of South Forty Foot Drain (approximately 16.8 km) are proposed for de-maining to Black Sluice Internal Drainage Board.
- Stour Marshes, East Kent – 10 stretches of low risk watercourse across Stour Marshes, (approximately 36.5km) are proposed for de-maining to the River Stour (Kent) Internal Drainage Board.
A transfer would mean that IDBs, LLFAs and district councils can take on more responsibility for their local flood risk, where appropriate – by carrying out activities such as maintenance/dredging or giving permission to carry out works.
Rachael Hill, Flood and Coastal Risk Manager for the Environment Agency, said: “The project aims to bring more choice to communities and local organisations in how watercourses are managed and maintained. We want to strengthen local flood risk management and decision-making by ensuring the right people are managing the right watercourses.”
Innes Thomson Chief Executive of ADA (Association of Drainage Authorities) added: “It is very important for existing and potential new river managers to know what the views of local people are so we can make the right decisions together for the best future of these rivers.”
The public will be able to view and give feedback between midday 15 January 2018 and midday 12 February 2018.