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Flood Defence

The Flood Forum’s next National Conference is to be on Wednesday March 7th 2012 and will have the theme of Flood Insurance.

Paul Cobbing writes

It’s a privilege to be the National Flood Forum’s new Chief Executive, with its national reputation for supporting and representing flood risk communities. This is down to the impressive work and passion of volunteers, staff and trustees and I am looking forward to working with

everyone to promote the voice of people at risk of flooding.

There is a lot to do. We need to work with Government and the Insurance Industry to get a replacement for the “Statement of Principles” for household insurance that gives us good and affordable cover. Our response to the draft National Planning Policy Framework addresses real concerns about putting communities at risk in the future, to name just two big issues.

We are also busy in communities, with new groups, flood exhibitions and a host of other activities. We take delivery this month of our Flood Information Trailer and will give it its first outing to York on 2nd November. We will be reporting on these and other new initiatives through the bulletin in the next few months.

There are some big issues for the National Flood Forum itself. Our finances are poor and we need to put the organisation on a sounder footing. Can YOU help us to raise funds? We could also be very much more effective if we had some voluntary help in a few key areas. Could YOU help? Please get in touch. More on these in later editions.

Over the last few weeks I have spoken to many of you on how we can work together to support flood risk communities. Do please contact me if you would like to discuss anything or if you have ideas about future activities.

Contact me on 0777 3355 181 or I very much look forward to working with you.

New NFF Trustees As well as a new CEO, we have recently

recruited seven new Trustees! Four join our “Charity” Board and three join the new NFF Trading Services CIC. New Charity Board Trustees include Andy Johnston (London), Servel Miller (Chester), John Pegg (Cornwall) and Sarah Spencer (London).

New CIC Board members are David Beuzeval (Cumbria), Ruth Goodall (Leeds) and Leigh Parratt (Ipswich). Charles Tucker, our Chairman says “We have been extremely fortunate to attract candidates of such quality to be Trustees.”

Given that the government has yet to show any leadership on Insurance this is likely to be a very lively conference! Speakers from our affiliated groups will give their experiences and we will explore innovative options that are emerging, as well as highlighting the issues where we believe the insurance industry needs to improve.

Richard Benyon, Under Secretary of State for the Environment and Fisheries has confirmed that he will give the Keynote Speech. There will be speakers from the ABI, the Environment Agency and Defra, among others, plus “break-out” sessions where delegates can explore particular topics in a less formal setting.

Defra has promised to “consult on a proposal this year” - for a replacement for the Statement of

NFF staff and Trustees have been busy in recent weeks. Heather Shepherd has attended:

An Emergency Services Training Event in Kendal on 1st October (see photo)

Flood Fairs in Rotherham on 5th October and Liverpool on 6th October

Bin Brook Individual Property Protection Scheme launch on 25th October in Cambridge.

We will also be providing advice for householders on how to develop a Community Flood Plan.

Flood Information Trailer launched

Our new Flood Information Trailer (FIT) had its first outing on 2nd November. Brought to Burstwick, near Hull, for the opening of new community flood defences, it was christened by Ron Smith, NFF Trustee and Chair of Burstwick United flood group. The event was recorded by BBC Look North, Seaside FM and the Holderness Gazette.

(Richard Benyon, Minister for Environment and Fisheries, formally opened the defences. Ron and Heather Shepherd both took part.)

The FIT then travelled to Phoenix House in Leeds for the EA’s annual Yorkshire Flood Wardens Seminar, to show delegates its capabilities. It will be in use again on 12th December at Staines, Middle- sex, providing information to the local community as part of the Lower Thames Strategy being drawn up by the EA.

Ron Smith cuts the ribbon to open the new Flood Information Trailer. 7

The FIT is now available to support NFF events across the country, such as Flood Fairs and training sessions with communities.

Let us know if you would like us to arrange an event in YOUR area.

We will also take delivery by Christmas of our Flood Recovery Trailer (FRT) that will be deployed to communities hit

by severe flooding.

Both units were built with funding from the Environment Agency, for which we thank them. They are now entirely ours to operate and finance, so we need volunteer drivers, over 25 and used to towing large trailers with a 4x4. Can YOU help – as a driver or Sponsor? For more information, email: amanda.davies@floodforum.or

Flood Fairs and Exhibitions

Charles Tucker and new Trustee Leigh Parratt took part in the FCERM11 Event organised by the Environment Agency at York on Minister to speak at NFF Conference

Principles – “and reach a decision in the Spring”. That COULD be March 7th!

Flood Insurance is the issue that people raise with us more than any other. The ABI has promised to give their perspective and we hope that the major Insurance companies will also be represented. And, of course, we expect many representatives of local Flood Groups from across the country. The Conference will be held at SOAS, University of London, Russell Square.

We would welcome suggestions from our Groups on what the Conference should cover. And we would welcome offers of sponsorship from commercial organisations!

Watch out for more details in Bulletin, or contact

25th October and distributed information about our work to delegates.

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