One in six properties at risk of flooding: how can we improve the UK's resilience to extreme weather?

The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of a resilient society that is well prepared to deal with external shocks, such as financial crises, public health emergencies, terrorism, or extreme weather events. Earlier this year, the Government announced that it would develop a National Resilience Strategy, to help the UK better prepare for whole system emergencies, including extreme weather. 

The Westminster Sustainable Business Forum believes that resilience to flooding should form a key part of this forthcoming strategy. One in six properties in England are at risk of flooding and since 2013 there have been 85,000 new homes built within flood zone 35, the area with the highest risk of flooding from rivers or the sea. Our inquiry and report, Bricks and Water: Building Resilience for England’s homes, highlighted the vulnerability of communities across the UK to flooding from a variety of sources, in particular, rivers, the sea, and surface water.

A roundtable today drew on the expertise of the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum’s members and wider stakeholders in order to inform their submission to the Cabinet Office’s call for evidence. The discussion focussed on the thematic areas relating to flood prevention, mitigation, and recovery.

The meeting was chaired by Olivia Blake MP, Shadow Minister for Nature, Water and Flooding.

Speakers included: 

  • Baroness McIntosh of Pickering, Conservative Peer and Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Water Group 
  • Dermot Kehoe, Communications and Transition Director, Flood Re
  • David Nash, Head of the Z Zurich Foundation
  • Helen Jackson, ClimateNode Risk Map

Read more about the work of the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum.