Joined up approach key to future of flood protection

Central government, insurers and local authorities must continue to work together to ensure properties at risk of flooding are better protected in future, according to a national trade body.

The Property Care Association (PCA) today questioned reports of any tension surrounding the responsibility for flood protection.

Instead, it revealed there are already moves towards a more co-ordinated approach and says that must continue for the sake of hundreds of thousands of householders living in high-risk areas.

The Property Flood Resilience Action Plan – a report by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs to be launched in the coming weeks – sets out to encourage better uptake of resilience measurers for properties at high risk.

It also identifies areas where additional work and understanding by government, local authorities and insurers is required.

But Steve Hodgson, chief executive of the PCA, says the body has already seen evidence of that and is confident better outcomes for homeowners can be delivered as a result.

He said: “We’re pleased all parties have started to work with each other to deliver a cohesive approach and that needs to continue.

“While there are bound to be differences of opinion and challenges to overcome, there appears to be a will to work together to overcome such hurdles and make such an approach work for the benefit of all concerned, especially those at risk of flooding.

“The insurance industry must work in a co-ordinated way with government policy and industry must work with both government and insurers to deliver reliable, high-quality flood protection and resilience work using tried and tested methods.”

Mr Hodgson says the PCA will continue to support such a joined-up approach.

He added: “There needs to be a common understanding if we’re to ensure homes at risk of flooding in the UK are better protected in future.

“There are ways forward and a raft of effective measures that can be put in place to increase flood resistance and resilience – and the best way they can be implemented is if the bodies responsible are working from the same page.

“The PCA’s Flood Protection Group will continue to work to raise standards in the flood protection sector and provide information and advice to all parties affected by flood risk.”

The Flood Protection Group was set up in 2014 to deliver assurance to those looking to protect their homes from the worst effects of future floods.

It acts as a reference point for legislators, community groups, insurers and forms a national framework to help consumers locate reliable, competent and trustworthy flood protection specialists.

The Group works to a practical Code of Practice which recognises the need for any professional involved in flood protection to understand the physical, financial and emotional impact on property owners and to work in partnership with insurers.

It was developed by the PCA, which is noted for its training and technical expertise and operates industry-recognised training programmes.

More information on flood protection and flood resilience can be found via the PCA website at www.property-care.org/homeowners/flood-protection/

The trade body has also released a video demonstrating the impact of flood resilience work which is available to view at http://bit.ly/1V4c00b