The announcement comes six months after Sir Michael Pitt’s review, published in December 2008, in which he made 92 recommendations to improve the UK’s preparation, management and response to severe flooding.

Hilary Benn, the environment secretary, today (25 June) outlining the progress made in carrying out the recommendations in the Pitt Review into the 2007 floods.

Many of the recommendations in the report which can be viewed by clicking here are listed as complete or ongoing.

However, one of the ones to have missed its target was for the government to develop a single set of guidance for local authorities and the public on the ‘use and usefulness’ of sandbags.

This is now due to be issued by the Environment Agency (EA) at the end of next month (July), with additional guidance to follow in the autumn.

Another recommendation where there’s been significant progress is with the EA and the Met Office working together, through a joint centre, to improve their technical capability to forecast, model and warn against all sources of flooding

The £7.7m joint forecasting centre was opened on 1 April and provides an extreme rainfall alert, support for the production of four day forecasts indicating potential flooding, warnings of rain or snow that could cause flooding and a storm tide forecasting service.

Mr Benn said: “The Pitt progress report explains how we will complete implementation of Sir Michael’s recommendations, with target dates.

“The Government remains determined to make this country better able to anticipate and deal with the impacts of flooding.”

“Since the summer 2007 many measures have been put in place to better protect the public and properties.”

Luke Walsh

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