Risk Resilience Response
Interview with Clare Dinnis

Q & A about Flood & Coast 2017 with Clare Dinnis - Deputy Director – Strategy Delivery - Flood & Coastal Risk Management at the Environment Agency. Chair of Conference Advisory Committee.

Why is this event particularly relevant now - to the EA and the wider FCRM community?

  • It’s ten years on from the floods that led to the Pitt review and subsequently the EA’s strategic overview role. That feels like a really important time for us to look at what we’ve collectively achieved, and how we can strengthen this further to ensure resilience against future pressures such as climate change and population growth. We change much more by working together and delivering integrated solutions that help communities than we can alone. The conference will help us to bring the groups that manage flood risk together and allow them to focus on just that.

Building on the successful debates from last year’s conference, what does the Environment Agency see as the most important areas for discussion this year and why?

  • It was great to see such a strong presence from the infrastructure and utility providers in 2016. We would like to build on this and tie it in with our new themes for the 2017 event. We are particularly keen to reach out to more local authorities and broaden the conference content to cover the range of activities that they are responsible for. Many of these relate to flooding even though they’re often managed separately. This might include development planning that reduces flood risk, social services that help communities to be more resilient and of course emergency response, But we also want to consider those services communities need and often turn to their local authority for even if it’s not their responsibility – like resilient infrastructure such as water supplies, telecoms and road networks. By bringing the range of partners responsible for these together under the banner of Flood and Coast Risk Management, we hope to strengthen the support that we collectively provide communities.

What outcomes are you hoping for from the event as a whole?

  • We are trying to reach a wide audience covering the whole flood risk community. If we can help to connect people and share ideas, then I think that we will be better placed as a community to support businesses and people at risk. I would like people to leave the conference and exhibition with far more contacts in the flood and coastal risk management community, with ideas to help their work area and to help them understand the part they play in shaping the future of flood and coastal risk management.

This year there will be an increased focus on local authorities – why do you feel that this is so important?

  • Local Authorities see the whole picture of what affects our communities from planning policy through to emergency response and community support, from management of developments through to their flood and coastal risk responsibilities. They provide the link between communities and the infrastructure and are often the first point of contact. Flood and coast risk management touches on all of those aspects of local authority work. But local authorities are under increasing pressure. We want to support them in making those connections and help them to deliver their flood risk remit in a joined up way by tying it in with linked areas of work. We think that the conference will help local authorities to see how flood risk integrates with the breadth of their responsibilities and how playing an active part in the flood and coast risk community can support them.

Quotes from 2016

Great @floodandcoast event at Telford. Excellent opportunity to share with fellow flood industry professionals.

- Flood Control

This conference has provided a great opportunity for industry professionals to come together to be inspired, to listen, learn, discuss and plan for the future.

- Alison Baptiste, Environment Agency

Thanks for a great @floodandcoast. It’s been a lot of fun.

- Salix

It was invaluable to gather all major contractors together under one roof.

- Richard Taffs, TMS Maritime

Excellent day at the @floodandcoast exhibition today, very informative.

- Pontoon & Dock Co

I enjoyed every minute. It was informative and the networking was brilliant. I am going home buzzing.

- Mary Dhonau, Know Your Flood Campaign

Flood & Coast 2016 broadened the conversation beyond the FCRM sector to encompass the infrastructure community, which made for a much richer event.

- Fola Ogunyoye, Royal HaskoningDHV

We think Flood & Coast captured the right audience covering the entire FCRM industry.

- Anjie Stevens, Isodaq Technology

2017 Advisory Committee

Clare Dinnis

Deputy Director Strategy Delivery
Environment Agency

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Josie Bateman

Vice Chair ADEPT Flood
& Water Management Group
& Flood Manager
Northamptonshire Council

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Tim Bowen

Executive Director,
Corporate Development

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Rhiannon Clancy

FCRM Engagement Manager
Environment Agency

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Paul Cobbing

Chief Executive
National Flood Forum

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Lisa Constable

Weather Resilience &
Climate Change Strategy Manager
Network Rail

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Katharine Evans

National Flood &
Coastal Risk Manager
Environment Agency

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Ben Fletcher

Assistant Director Energy,
Environment and Transport,
Civil Contingencies
Cabinet Office

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Mark Garrett

Flood Risk Manager for
Greater Manchester,
Merseyside and Cheshire
Environment Agency

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Nick Hardiman

Senior Coastal Adviser
FCRM Directorate
Environment Agency

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Gareth Heatley

Managing Director Water, Europe

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Ben Johnstone

Area FCRM Manager for
Devon and Cornwall
Environment Agency

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Dr Chrissy Mitchell

Principal Research Scientist
Flooding & Communities
Evidence Directorate
Environment Agency

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Fola Ogunyoye

Technical Director Water Europe and
Leading Professional for
Flood Resilience
Rivers, Deltas and Coasts
Royal HaskoningDHV

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Innes Thomson

Chief Executive
Association of Drainage Authorities

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