The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has issued a draft guidance for drawing up surface water management plans to help local authorities deal with local flood risk. Six local authorities Gloucestershire, Hull, Leeds, Richmond Upon Thames, Warrington, and Thatcham in West Berkshire have high risk of surface water flooding. These are receiving GBP50,000 each to begin developing their surface water management plans using the draft guidance.

As part of the government’s response to Sir Michael Pitt’s review into the summer 2007 floods, it is proposed that local authorities will be given responsibility for co-ordinating the management of surface water flooding in their area in partnership with other relevant authorities.

The government is encouraging all local authorities to take early action to improve the management of surface water.

The guidance is intended as a living draft and will be updated in the Autumn 2009 in response to feedback and lessons learned from the six trial areas.

Sir Michael Pitt’s review into the summer 2007 floods recommended that surface water management plans should provide the basis for managing flood risk.