Variation to the Composition of the Anglian (Central) Regional Flood and Coastal Committee

Closes 18 Jun 2019

Opened 7 May 2019

Overview

The Regional Flood & Coastal Committees (RFCCs) are committees established by the Environment Agency under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. These bring together members appointed by Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs) and independent members with relevant experience for 3 purposes:

  • to ensure there are coherent plans for identifying, communicating and managing flood and coastal erosion risks across catchments and shorelines.
  • to promote efficient, targeted and risk-based investment in flood and coastal erosion risk management that optimises value for money and benefits for local communities.
  • to provide a link between the Environment Agency, LLFAs, other risk management authorities, and other relevant bodies to bring about mutual understanding of flood and coastal erosion risks in its area.

There are 12 Committees in England and each has a Chair appointed by Defra. The Anglian (Central) RFCC covers the River Great Ouse catchment and the North West Norfolk coast in East Anglia.

The following local government reorganisations mean a change to the Constituent Authority Membership of the Anglian (Central) Regional Flood and Coastal Committee is required:

  • On 31 August 2018 the Northamptonshire Local Government Reform Proposal was submitted for consideration by Government. The Proposal is for two new unitary authorities to be formed (West Northamptonshire and North Northamptonshire), coming into existence on the 1 April 2020.
  • On 1 November 2018 James Brokenshire (Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) announced the decision to create one new unitary authority in Buckinghamshire, subject to parliamentary approval. This authority will replace the existing five councils and come into existence on the 1 April 2020.

Each new authority will deliver all local government services in their respective areas including being Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs). The creation of these new authorities has implications for the composition of the Anglian (Central) Regional Flood and Coastal Committee.

The Anglian (Central) Regional Flood and Coastal Committee membership currently includes representation from both Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire County Councils. This membership was signed off by the Secretary of State in 2011. Due to the changes in Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire, the Committee membership will need to be varied before 1 December 2019 to represent the new councils on 1 April 2020.

Proposal

Option 1 – Do Minimum

No changes to the number of Environment Agency or LLFA Members or to the LLFAs sharing seats.

The existing LLFA shared seat position for Buckinghamshire County Council would be transferred to the new proposed Buckinghamshire Council.

The existing LLFA shared seat position for Northamptonshire County Council would be transferred to the new proposed West Northamptonshire Council. The proposed North Northamptonshire Council has a lesser tax base within the Committee’s area than Oxfordshire County Council does, so given Oxfordshire does not have a seat then neither would North Northamptonshire.

Option 2 – Better reflecting spread of Tax Base across LLFAs (Constituent Authorities)

This option increases the number of the seats within the Committee to enable a more equitable representation of LLFAs when looking at the spread of the tax base across the Committee’s area.

The number of seats increases to ten to ensure that no LLFA is detrimentally affected by loss of existing seats. The number of Environment Agency appointee seats would increase to eight. These will not necessarily all be recruited to but the composition would retain the flexibility to do so in future.

Proposal – Committee Name

It is proposed to change the name of the RFCC from Anglian (Central) Regional Flood & Coastal Committee to Anglian (Great Ouse) Regional Flood & Coastal Committee.

The Great Ouse featured proudly with the names of predecessor Committees between 1920 to 2005. This will retain alignment with the other two ‘Anglian’ RFCCs but reintegrates a river catchment relevance and removes the now outdated link with previous Environment Agency operational Regional/Area naming.

Please see the consultation document below for further details, along with a copy of the response form if you would prefer to respond via email or post.

Why We Are Consulting

We are consulting on two proposed options for the RFCC Composition as well as a name change for the Committee.

The Regional Flood and Coastal Committee Regulations 2011 stipulates a statutory six week consultation period in order to vary the composition of a Regional Flood and Coastal Committee.

To ensure that we have consensus on our proposed scheme of membership we are inviting comments from members of the public and other interested parties.

Give Us Your Views

Audiences

  • IDBs
  • District and parish councils
  • RFCCs
  • Members of the public
  • Lead Local Flood Authorities
  • Local Risk Management Authorities
  • Flood Resilience Forums
  • Town and parish councils
  • Regional Flood and Coastal Committees
  • Internal Drainage Boards

Interests

  • Flood management
  • Coastal management