Scotland looks at flood forecast

Flooding experts gathered in Scotland this week to look at how a heavy rains and high seas could impact on the country - and consider ways to reduce the risk.

The country’s first summit on flood risk management looked at how policy should be developed to offer the best protection and response.

Richard Lochhead, the Scottish Executive’s Environment Secretary, said: “We made a manifesto pledge to review the current flooding leglisation, which is no longer fit for the requirements of the 21st century.

“Climate change has seen flooding become an increasingly regular threat to communities around Scotland and the rest of the UK, and the Scottish Government is committed to tackling this growing danger.

“The destruction flooding can cause is not only traumatic in terms of loss of property but potentially devastating for those households and businesses directly affected.

“Today’s flooding summit is an opportunity to start a genuine debate on the way forward for flood risk management in Scotland. I am seeking the views of industry experts, local authorities and individual experiences to help inform future policy.

“Local authorities have worked hard to construct 72 flood prevention schemes since the original Flood Prevention Act in 1961, assisted by Scottish Government funding. Robust arrangements to deal with severe flooding emergencies are also in place, led by regional Strategic Coordinating Groups.

“We must now be more proactive about tackling flooding and consider whether there is a need for a national authority for flooding and if so, who should lead on coordinating this.

“As recent severe flooding events in England have shown us, we need to be more prepared than ever to minimise the risk and impact of flooding.”

The Scottish Executive has also published a map showing the potential Impact of Coastal Flooding north of the border, highlighting the number of homes at risk.

The coastal cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen are seen as the high-risk areas.

David Gibbs

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