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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Industry news: UK Floods – proposed new legislation

Details of a new Floods and Water Bill were announced by the UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in mid-June. Under the proposals, local authorities would be given more powers to ensure that landowners and other organisations take greater responsibility for such obligations as maintaining drains.

The Environment Agency would take strategic responsibility for dealing with all inland flooding. The electricity and water industries have identified various locations where additional protection may be required and the Environment Agency will work towards providing this. It is intended that the new legislation would help the UK to cope better with future surface-water flooding. A couple of weeks later, Sir Michael Pitt’s final review of the floods in 2007 was published. This recommended:
>> The establishment of a Cabinet Committee dedicated to tackling the risk of flooding
>> The publication of monthly updates on the progress towards recovery following major flooding events
>> The allocation of proper resources to improve flood resilience, under the guidance of a new National Resilience Forum, and
>> The institution of pre-planned financial arrangements for responding to the financial burden of exceptional emergencies.

The insurance industry’s response to the 2007 events was generally well received in the report.