Business change recommendations to enable Northamptonshire County Council to implement new duties under the Flood and Water Management Act

The purpose of our study was to provide a framework for the management of water and flood risk within Northamptonshire as specified from current and emerging legislation.

During the first stage of the work we researched and produced a literature review of current and proposed documentation and legislation to identify the Lead Local Flood Authorities and their associated roles and responsibilities.  The three key national business drivers were; the recommendations from the Pitt Review, the Flood and Water Management Bill and the Flood Risk Regulations 2009.  This was supported by a review of local policies and strategies within Northamptonshire County Council and their associated district and borough councils.

We went on to consult with relevant people within the council to determine their current capability and capacity.  We also consulted with neighbouring councils and other beacon authorities to identify successes and good practice.

Together, this allowed us to identify several options with associated advantages, disadvantages, costs, risks and issues. These options included; continuing as present and adopting models from other county councils.

We presented these options to key stakeholders for their consideration and we suggested a preferred option and a supporting implementation plan.

We concluded the study by producing a final report, including a framework delivery structure and an implementation plan to achieve this.  Some of the recommendations that came out of the report include; setting up a Strategic Flood Risk Management Board and developing a Surface Water Management Plan for Northamptonshire.  An additional benefit to the client was the knowledge transfer to Northamptonshire County Council staff who went on to implement our recommendations.