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Who has responsibilities for managing flooding?

There are a variety of different organisations and people who are responsible for managing flooding.

Responsibilities and activities of flood risk management authorities

The responsibility for managing the risk of flooding is split between different organisations in the borough, these are known as Risk Management Authorities (RMAs). Many of these authorities carry out their work using ‘permissive powers’ given to them by different flooding legislation. This means that although they have the power to carry out works there is not always a legal duty for them to do so. Work is prioritised according to need and is dependent on funding being available. The council meets regularly with these organisations to discuss flooding issues and proposed works.

The legal responsibility for protecting a property from flooding rests with the owner. It is therefore important that property owners are aware of their risk and how they can help contribute to reducing it. You can find out more information on the works undertaken by the different risk management authorities below.

North East Lincolnshire Council

As the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) we are responsible for coordinating the management of local flood risks – surface water, ordinary watercourses and groundwater. We also investigate instances of flooding of publish the results.

The council manages and maintains the highway drainage systems through gulley cleaning, repairing broken pipework and ensuring improvements are included in highway schemes.

We also inspect watercourses where there is a high risk of flooding to see if any maintenance work needs to be carried out. We carry out maintenance on watercourses where we have a specific responsibility including Buck Beck in Waltham, Ferriby Lane, Goosemans Drain and Saltings allotment.

As part of our coastal responsibilities we manage and maintain the North and Central Promenades, Kingsway and the frontage at Humberston Fitties. We manage the beach levels on Cleethorpes and Humberston beaches.

Where necessary we seek funding from various sources to carry work where flood defence renovations or replacement are required.

What do the council and others do to prepare for flooding?

The council works with the other risk management authorities (the Environment Agency, Anglian Water and the Drainage Boards) to manage the risk of flooding from all sources in the borough.

The council is also a member of the Humber Local Resilience Forum (LRF) as a Category 1 responder. Other members include the emergency services, the NHS and the Environment Agency. They plan for a range of emergency situations including flooding by maintaining and monitoring the Multi-Agency Flood Plan.

Will the council close flooded roads?

The council has produced an Emergency Road Closures Guidance Document (PDF) detailing who has the powers to close roads.

The Police and the council are the only organisations who have the legal power to close a road. The Police will only do so if there is a risk that a vehicle will break down which could then prevent access for emergency vehicles. Whilst the Council has the power, the resources to close roads are likely to be stretched and we may not be able to react to all requests or areas of need.

If residents wish to prevent vehicles driving on flooded roads this is done without any specific delegated authority given to them by the Police or the Council and no equipment can be provided to do this.

The Environment Agency

The Environment Agency has operational responsibility for managing the risk of flooding from main rivers, reservoirs and the sea. They monitor water levels and rainfall to allow them to forecast floods, and provide warnings to the public as well as other organisations to help prepare for flooding. They also provide the national strategic overview for flood risk management.

Information on the maintenance that the Environment Agency undertakes on Main rivers and sea defences can be found on the Environment Agency website where you can enter your postcode to see what activities are carried out near you.

The Drainage Boards

The two drainage boards with responsibilities in our borough are North East Lindsey Drainage Board and Lindsey Marsh Drainage Board. They maintain watercourses, pumping stations and other drainage infrastructure within their areas. North East Lindsey Drainage Board and Lindsey Marsh Drainage Board provide information on maintenance activities on their websites. Further information on this should be sought from the drainage board directly.

Anglian Water

Anglian Water are responsible for managing the risk of flooding from foul, combined and surface water sewers as well as from burst water mains. Anglian Water have a planned, proactive maintenance programme which covers 113 separate sections of sewer, totalling 33km. The frequency of cleaning ranges from every month to every 5 years. You can visit the ‘in your area’ section of their website to see what work is being carried out near you.

Carrying out works on a watercourse

If you live by a watercourse you should be aware of what your rights are. The Environment Agency have produced a booklet which provides further information:

If you wish to carry out works alongside a watercourse or within the channel which would affect the flow of water it is likely that you will need to apply for a specific consent to carry out these works. This is separate to any other permission such as planning permission.

The power to issue consents is divided between the following authorities:

  • North East Lincolnshire Council – for works on ordinary watercourses please call 01472 324351. Guidance notes and an application form are available on this page.
  • North East Lindsey Drainage Board – for works on an ordinary watercourse within their district please call 01469 588991 or visit their website.
  • Lindsey Marsh Drainage Board – for works on an ordinary watercourse within their district please call 01507 328095 or visit their website.
  • The Environment Agency – for works on or adjacent to a Main River or sea defences please call 03708 506 506 or use the application forms on their website.