Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

Priorities for improving flood management in England - preparedness, infrastructure and developing an affordable flood insurance market

Morning, Thursday, 4th April 2019

Central London


This conference focuses on priorities for flood and coastal erosion risk management in England.

Taking place during the consultation on the new National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy, and with the updated National Flood Risk Assessment (NFRA) for Scotland released, it will be an opportunity to discuss priorities that emerge from responses - as well as lessons that can be learnt from flooding agencies across devolved regions of the UK.

The seminar also follows the government response to the Multi-Agency Flood Plan Review which calls for more rigorous standards in flood planning, the formation of local resilience forums, and changes in how funding is applied to preparation and response.

We expect latest thinking on the role agriculture can play in flood management, with the Agriculture Bill including measures to reduce flooding as part of the assessment of funding to farmers and land managers in respect of public goods.

Attendees will also assess priorities for further investment in grey infrastructure, including the maintenance of current hard defences, and funding for developing new technologies such as temporary flood barriers, with an additional £40m announced in July for flood defence schemes and to provide support in areas that have suffered recent flooding. Discussion is also expected on housing development and coastal erosion.

Further sessions will examine recommendations in the National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA) including for long-term strategy development by government, the Environment Agency updating plans for coastal cells and catchments, and the setting up of a rolling six year funding programme.

With the NIA also recommending that water companies and local authorities jointly publish plans to manage surface water flood risk by 2022 and the recently announced consultation on improving management of water in the environment, delegates will consider the opportunities for proactive measures to lower flood risk and prepare for extreme weather conditions.

The agenda looks at the development and future scope of the flood insurance market for households, following the publication of the second transition plan by Flood Re, outlining its goals for moving to affordable insurance - including principles for when Flood Re can intervene, responsibilities of key stakeholders, and a clear definition of affordability.

Delegates will also assess on-going proposals by the insurance market for reduced costs to end users, as Flood Re prepares to lower premiums to insurance companies for the first time since its launch in 2016.

Guest of Honour

Matt Crossman

Team Leader, National Infrastructure Commission

Keynote Speaker

David Cooper

Deputy Director, Flood & Coastal Erosion Risk Management, Defra

Guest of Honour

Matt Crossman

Team Leader, National Infrastructure Commission

Keynote Speakers

Catherine Wright

Director of Digital and Skills, Flood & Coastal Risk Management, Environment Agency

David Cooper

Deputy Director, Flood & Coastal Erosion Risk Management, Defra


Rosie Cooper MP

Member, House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee


Alex Plant

Regulation Director, Anglian Water Services

Mark Shepherd

Assistant Director, Head of Property, Commercial and Specialist Lines, ABI

Sarah Clark

Partner, BDB Pitmans

Aidan Kerr

Director of Operations, Flood Re

Dr Diane Mitchell

Chief Environment Adviser, NFU

Dr Jonathan Simm

Chief Technical Director, Resilience, HR Wallingford

Dr John Kissi

Flood Risk Manager, Southwark Council

Innes Thomson

Chief Executive, Association of Drainage Authorities

Paul Cobbing

Chief Executive, National Flood Forum

Bryan Harvey

Vice President, Utilities, Europe, Jacobs