Flood risk management - Overview

The impacts of flooding can be devastating in terms of the cost of repairs, replacement of damaged property, loss of business and considerable personal trauma.

We are the Lead Local Flood Authority and as such has a series of improved powers, duties and responsibilities for coordinating the management of local flood risk.

Find out who shares in the duties and responsibilities of how flood risk is managed: 

  • Department of Environmental, Rood and Rural Affairs has overall national responsibility for policy on flood and coastal erosion risk management, and provides funding for flood risk management authorities through flood defence grants.
  • The Environment Agency sets the national strategy and provides support and guidance to local authorities. 
  • Regional Flood and Coastal Committees (RFCCs) are split up into regional areas based on river catchments. Anglian (Great Ouse) RFCC is responsible for Bedford Borough, which falls into the Upper Great Ouse River catchment. RFCCs approves the annual programme of flood defence work in its region and sets the local levy (PDF). The Committees are made up of a Chairman appointed by Defra, members appointed by the Environment Agency and members appointed by local authorities. All meetings are open to the public. 
  • Part of the Borough is covered by the Bedford Group of Internal Drainage Boards (IDB) which provides local storm water management through ordinary watercourse maintenance and improvement. 
  • Anglian Water is responsible for the public sewerage system, which is made up of a network of sewers and drains.
  • If your property is adjacent to a watercourse of any description, or this passes through or under your property, you are a riparian owner. As a riparian owner you should be maintaining your waterways regularly and keeping vegetation and obstacles that may restrict the flow of the water clear from the bed and banks.