A review to look at how the recent floods were managed and responded to by the Environment Agency, local authorities, the emergency services and others, was today announced by Environment Secretary Hilary Benn.
The Lessons Learned review, to be carried out by the Cabinet Office with support from Defra and Communities and Local Government, will seek views from those involved in the floods, ranging from residents affected by them, to local councillors to members of the emergency services.
The review will look at flood risk management, the emergency response and the transfer to recovery. A further separate review will be carried out at a later stage to consider lessons learned from the recovery phase.
In a written statement to the House of Commons, Hilary Benn said:
“As the affected communities, businesses and individuals move to the long and difficult task of recovery, they are understandably asking questions about the flooding – its causes and subsequent management.
“My ministerial colleagues and I have said that it is vital that we learn lessons now about how to manage and respond to this type of disaster in the future. As part of the usual process following an emergency we are establishing a review to identify these lessons and the Prime Minister stated on the 8th July that the conclusions of such an exercise would be made public. I am, therefore, announcing today how the government intends to go about this and our aim to publish initial findings by the end of the year and subsequently a formal Government report.”
The review will report to Hilary Benn and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Ed Miliband, and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Hazel Blears.
Mr Benn added:
“Tragically four people lost their lives as a direct result of the flooding. The circumstances of three other reported deaths are still being investigated. Over 37,000 properties including some 7,000 businesses are reported to have been affected, with nearly 18,000 properties affected in the Hull area alone.
“It is estimated that thousands of people are still out of their homes with around 300 in emergency accommodation in Sheffield and Doncaster and Hull. The response of the emergency services, local authorities, operating authorities, voluntary sector and the affected communities has been very impressive.”
Posted July 13th, 2007