On Friday last week, PCA attended the regular committee meeting drawn up to deliver on the 2016 Peter Bonfield report into flood resilience.
Bringing ideas together for better flood defence
The meeting, hosted by DEFRA and held at the offices of Historic England in London, provided the individual workgroups with an opportunity to report on the progress. However, the main element of the meeting was a workshop allowing delegates to bring together ideas on how to encourage property owners to adopt flood resilient measures.
Is legislation the key to property flood protection?
It is great that this work continues but somewhat depressing that these very senior figures and industry leaders are still grappling with the most fundamental of questions. In brief, there is still no solution on how to encourage people to invest in flood protection using their own money!
Is the answer to legislate through building regulations and ensure rules are applied by enforcement through building control? Financial inducements through tax breaks could also be useful, but it seems that the Government are very reluctant to pull these triggers.
In the meantime, the development of a weighty Code of Practice that appears to have been written with publicly funded procurement in mind, is soon to be released for consultation.
PCA continues to support its members
Despite warnings from the PCA that the flood protection industry is in a very precarious state, with little work available and few prospects of work to sustain the dwindling skills base (that will be needed if promotion from the Government happens), the project rolls on and PCA continues to work for the benefit of both members and consumers.
BS 851188 nearing completion?
Meanwhile, BS 851188 is nearing the end of the initial drafting process. This sets the standard for the testing of flood protection products and will see some pretty major revisions and we will inform members when the document is available for public consultation.
The future for flood protection
We can only hope all this backroom work that has been undertaken by a large number of unremunerated volunteers, will count for something. Unless Government at both local and national level show determination and set legislation that mandates flood protection, we fear that professional delivery and reliable property level flood protection will face a continuing struggle for recognition, investment and perhaps, survival.