Sunday, 13 April 2014

Week Two Meeting the Team

Follow me on Twitter on @SallySudworth Follow me on Twitter on @SallySudworth We publish a map on a weekly basis that shows the location of the asset repairs together with the status (green light for funding secured or amber waiting on approval/further information). It’s great at illustrating how the storms of last winter were exceptional and the scale of the work we need to do. Meeting the team was great as you can see from the photographs – our team ‘selfie’ and another taken next to the Thames. We meet regularly in London but will also be meeting on location to track progress on the ground. There was a great buzz and high level of energy at our team meeting and we talked about ‘wellbeing’ in how we manage our workload. My colleagues have successfully delivered the results of the large scale military inspection exercise which are now quality assured. The next step is to carry out engineering assessment at locations deemed vulnerable in order to scope the work required to return the asset to pre-storm condition. This work will then be rolled up with the packages that we are commissioning with our framework contractors and in addition our local crews (who do this work on a daily basis) will also be busy helping to protect local communities. An interesting feature of this week’s Ministerial Recovery Group meeting was the discussion on the £5k grant for individual householders to install flood resilient measures. I picked up a real sense of urgency from ministers in connection with getting the money to where it is needed as quickly and easily as possible. Householders need to get expert advice of course to ensure that they install the right measures that fit their circumstances ie it’s no good installing a flood door if the flood water is going to come up through the floor. Visit the following website for further advice. You can access the £5k grant via your local authority website. We met with our colleagues from Defra to discuss the allocation of funding to carry out these measures. The local authorities have until 17th April to submit details of the repairs required in their area in order to secure funding for their projects. It’s really encouraging to witness this joint approach to managing flood risk across all our flood risk authorities. My personal highlight of the week was walking into the office early Thursday morning. There was a clear blue sky and London looked spectacular in the early morning sunshine. It was a little quieter as many people are off for the Easter Holidays. I’m looking forward to the long weekend over Easter and am hoping the Easter Bunny will arrive having given up chocolate for Lent!

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