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Flood action conference highlights the importance of working together to protect communities

25 September 2023

Community flood groups, local authorities from across the Great Ouse catchment and surrounding areas, and industry representatives came together on Thursday for Cambridgeshire County Council’s second flood action conference.

With the ongoing effects of climate change, many more communities could be at increased risk of flooding. As different organisations tackle different types of flooding in different places, partnership working is crucial, and the event focused on further strengthening those partnerships.

Attendees heard from speakers including flood resilience champion Mary Dhonau, the Local Resilience Forum and CIRIA (the Construction Industry Research and Information Association), who shared their knowledge and experience of how we can all work together to tackle flooding.

Helping Cambridgeshire adapt to climate change is a key ambition of the council. Over the coming weeks, Cambridgeshire County Council will be sharing more information about further climate adaption initiatives, including Green Libraries Week, Recycle Week, Action on Energy and further information about how communities can help take action on flooding.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Lorna Dupre, Chair of the council’s Environment and Green Investment Committee, explains why the event was so important: “Creating a greener, fairer and more caring Cambridgeshire is a key priority for the Joint Administration. Tackling the climate crisis and looking after nature is essential to help our communities thrive in a changing environment. We are investing heavily in climate adaption measures as well as mitigating our impact where we can.

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“The changing climate brings an increased risk of flooding, which is why the conference was so important in bringing our communities together with the agencies and bodies who play a role in helping prevent and tackle flooding. We understand how devastating household flooding can be for our residents and that’s why it’s so important that we work together to help individuals and communities protect themselves.

“We’ve seen an increasing number of community flood groups set up over the past year, so it was great to see some of the county’s more established groups sharing their experiences and giving advice to newer groups.

“Of course, helping to protect our communities from flooding is just one part of our climate adaption ambition. Across our services, we are investing in schemes to bring clean energy to communities, we are focusing on increasing biodiversity, and we are supporting and encouraging our residents to make simple changes to reduce their own environmental impact.”

You can watch Councillor Dupre talking about how the council is preparing for climate change, including the importance of protecting our communities from flooding, and the role community flood groups can play in this video.