Defra and the Environment Agency will be undertaking a review of multi-agency flood plans produced by local resilience forums.
The Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, has made a Written Ministerial Statement in parliament announcing that Defra and the Environment Agency (EA) will be undertaking a review of multi-agency flood plans produced by local resilience forums (LRFs).
These plans are used by local responders (including the emergency services, local authorities, local NHS and others) to coordinate their response to flood incidents.
The MAFP Review is part of the government’s ongoing work to address flood risk. We are investing £2.5 billion to better protect the country from flooding: this includes over 1,500 flood defence schemes, which will better protect more than 300,000 properties by 2021. As we approach winter, we have improved our capability to deploy military assistance and invested in our ability to respond to flooding: the Environment Agency now has 25 miles of temporary barriers and we have 1,200 military troops trained to assist in flood response.
Terms of Reference – Multi-Agency Flood Plan (MAFP) Review
The MAFP Review is a Defra and Environment Agency review initiated by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The review will be led and overseen by an independent external reviewer, Major General Tim Cross CBE (retired). General Cross will be supported by a steering group of external experts in resilience and emergency planning, including from LRFs.
The review will address the question, ‘Do LRFs have robust plans in place to respond to flooding incidents in their respective areas?’ It will have three workstreams:
Workstream 1: Assessment of current MAFPs. This will be taken forward by the EA. It will involve the assessment of around 30 strategic flood plans and over 600 tactical flood plans related to specific districts and communities.
Workstream 2: A qualitative review led by the external reviewer, supported by Defra and the EA. This will involve visiting LRFs, identifying good practice, identifying issues and obstacles, and forming views and recommendations on the way forward including criteria for new guidance.
Workstream 3: Revision of Defra guidance to LRFs on how to produce good MAFPs, taking into account lessons learnt and experience since 2011 when the guidance was last reviewed. This will be undertaken by Defra and the EA, overseen by the external reviewer.
The review is due to be completed by the end of May 2018, culminating in the publication of revised guidance and a report of findings.
The external reviewer will be supported throughout by Defra and Environment Agency staff. It is envisaged that the external reviewer’s focus would be primarily on workstreams 2 and 3.