Lancashire residents can have their say about flooding issues in new consultation
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Lancashire County Council wants to hear what people think about the regulation of ordinary watercourses - such as streams, ditches, drains and private sewers which flow into main rivers - and also how the authority investigates flooding once it has actually occurred.
County Hall says that its aim is to improve “transparency and clarity” about two key areas of the council's work in relation to flooding.
The policies being consulted upon cover the process used to decide whether the council will look into the cause of a flood incident - and how it will oversee activities which could impact the flow of certain watercourses.
The documents are expected to be of particular interest to communities which are at risk of flooding, as well as landowners who have responsibilities for watercourses on their property, and developers whose work could affect such watercourses.
Part of the consultation relates to how the council may prioritise the use of its enforcement powers.
County Cllr Shaun Turner, cabinet member for environment and climate change, said: "We know all too well the devastating impact which flooding can have on people's lives and livelihoods following a number of serious incidents in Lancashire over recent years.
"Our flood risk management team works with partner organisations, which are responsible for managing water, and communities, to understand the cause of these incidents and, where appropriate, recommend and deliver measures to better manage and, where possible, reduce the risk of flooding in future.
"It's very important that people can easily understand our role in investigating floods, what the process is, and how we apply the Flood and Water Management Act to decide whether an investigation is appropriate.
"Equally it's vital that anyone with an ordinary watercourse on their property, or anyone who is proposing activity or development which could affect one, understands their responsibilities and our responsibility to regulate them.
"These watercourses play a vital role in controlling the flow of water and the consequences of them becoming restricted or blocked could be very serious.
"We've learned a great deal since our existing policies on these matters were published in 2014, which is reflected in the clarity and brevity of these draft polices. I'm grateful for anyone who has an interest in them taking the time to offer their feedback and help us shape the final versions," County Cllr Turner said.
The new draft documents can be viewed - and the consultation questionnaire completed - by visiting lancashire.gov.uk/flooding/consultation by 27th August.