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The following page contains all details released to the Flood Committee by the council relating to the scrutiny inquiry into the flooding. Details are reproduced in full here but where the committee deem important key information will be headlined on the news page providing the key facts.

Terms of Reference


1 Government position
1.1 The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee has decided that it will hold an inquiry into the summer flooding across the country and evidence sessions are likely to begin on 10 October. The Select Committee's work is intended to contribute to the conclusions of the independently led lessons learned parliamentary inquiry that the Secretary of State announced on 12 July 2007. Sir Michael Pitt will chair the independent inquiry.

2 The County Council’s response
2.1 Gloucestershire was one of the areas hardest hit by the flooding which caused widespread devastation resulting in the loss of electricity, drinking water and sanitation as well as the dislocation of the road and rail network. Furthermore the Emergency and its aftermath highlighted the fact that crucial elements of the county’s infrastructure are singularly vulnerable, whatever the emergency.

2.2 The County Council, as one of the community leaders, wants to ensure that the views and interests of the people of Gloucestershire are represented in both of the planned national Inquiries. In order to inform the Council’s response to both the select committee and the parliamentary inquiry, it is proposed that there be a local Scrutiny Inquiry. This Inquiry will be held in public and will scrutinize the Council’s performance as the emergency management authority and take evidence from a range of partnership bodies, public utilities and other interested parties in order to investigate the contributory causes of the summer flooding and assess the lessons to be learned from the emergency response and its aftermath which, amongst other things, will help inform the Council’s contribution to the Select Committee and the Parliamentary Inquiry.

Specifically the Scrutiny Inquiry will

Take evidence in order to build up a picture of
  • Types of flooding and the contributory factors that give rise to different types of flooding such as the effectiveness of critical watercourses, the resilience of drainage systems or the efficiency of expensive flood defences.
  • Urban flooding and all associated matters e.g. riparian rights, building on the flood plain, the clearance and maintenance of streams, brooks, gullies and sewers etc. Longlevens will be used as an example.
  • The effect of key Gloucestershire public utilities being sited close to major rivers and what contingency plans are in place.
  • The emergency response by the county council and other agencies involved in the Emergency including the contribution of the Tri-Service Centre in the effectiveness of Gold Command.
In order to
  • Highlight any contributory factors, beyond the exceptional weather conditions, that resulted in the flooding.
  • Seek reassurance regarding the resilience of plans to safeguard those utilities that have been identified as single points of failure whatever the emergency.
  • Identify good practice by the council and other agencies in response to the flooding and its aftermath.
  • Identify aspects of the response that could have been managed more effectively.
In order to
  • Identify the lessons that can be learned from the emergency and responses to it
  • Provide the local community with the assurance that there has been a transparent review of all aspects of the emergency and its aftermath to date and that the lessons learnt will both inform national agencies about actions needed at that level and enable local agencies to ensure good practice is maintained and to improve their reaction to future emergencies.
  • To make recommendations, if appropriate, on measures that could improve the council’s and other agencies’ response to future emergencies.
  • To identify, if appropriate, whether there are opportunities in the repair process to improve the resilience of the county’s infrastructure.
  • To inform the Council’s response to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Flooding and the Parliamentary Inquiry on The Lessons Learned

Details relating to the dates and agenda of the Inquiry hearings. Please note that these are preliminary details and are subject to change as not all witnesses or venues are yet confirmed.

  • 4th October - 10am to 5pm at the Guildhall in Gloucester
  • 11th October - 10am to 4pm at the Guildhall in Gloucester
  • 17th October - 10am to 5pm at the Guildhall in Gloucester
  • 25th October - 10am to 5pm at the Guildhall in Gloucester (venue not confirmed)

Day 1 – 4th October
Session 1
10.00am to 11.30am
Witness – The Environment Agency

Break 11:30am - 11:45am

Session 2
11.45am to 12.30pm
Witness – Tewkesbury Borough Council

Session 3
12.30pm to 1.15pm
Witness – Cotswold District Council

Lunch – 1.15pm to 2.15pm

Session 4
2.15m to 3.00pm
Witness – Gloucester City Council

Session 5
3.00pm to 3.45pm
Witness – Cheltenham Borough Council

Session 6
3.45pm to 5.00pm
Witness – Emergency Management Service

Day 2 – 11th October
Session 1
10.00am to 11.30am
Witness – Severn Trent

Break – 11.30am – 11.45am

Session 2
11.45am to 12.45pm
Witness – Community and Adult Care

Lunch – 12.45pm to 1.30pm

Session 3
1.30pm to 2.30pm
Witness – National Grid

Session 4
2.30pm to 4.00pm
Witness – GFRS

Day 3 – 17th October
Session 1
10.00am to 10.30am
Witness – District Council Planning Officers (not confirmed)

Session 2
10:30am to 11:00am
Witness - South West Regional Assembly (not confirmed)

Session 3
11:00am to 11:30am
Witness - Mary Dhonau, The National Flood Forum

Break - 11.30am to 11.45am

Session 4
11.45am to 12.45pm
Witness – Gloucestershire Highways

Lunch – 12.45pm to 1.30pm

Session 5
1.30pm to 2.30pm
Witness - Gloucestershire First

Session 6
2.30pm to 3.30pm
Witness – Tewkesbury Town Council

Break 3.30pm to 3.45pm

Session 7
3.45pm to 4.45pm
Witness – Environment Agency

Day 4 – 25th October
Session 1
10.00am to 11.00am
Witness – Kelly Bartlett (Longlevens Community Group)

Session 2
11.00am to 11.45am
Witness – BBC Radion Gloucestershire

Session 3
11:45am to 12:30pm
Witness - Bellway Homes (not confirmed)

Lunch – 12:30pm to 1.30pm

Session 4
1:30pm to 2:30pm
Witness - Gloucestershire Constabulary

Session 5
2.30pm to 3.30pm
Witness – Duncan Jordan (Recovery and infrastructure resilience)

Break – 3.30pm to 3.45pm

Session 5
3.45pm to 5.00pm
Witness – Mark Polin (Resilience - Emergency Management – not confirmed)


Monday 19th November

Now the inquiry is over a full copy of the report is available for download. The report is in Adobe Acrobat format, you will need the Adobe viewer to see the report which can be downloaded free from www.adobe.com.