Sunday, 25 May 2014

Third of repairs complete! week ending 23rd May 2014

Chesil Beach Repairs - Beach Recharge
Repairs at Teeside
National Recovery Programme: Week Ending 23 May 2014 Follow me on twitter @SallySudworth Area Recovery Managers: On Monday 19th May I brought the team together to plan the delivery of the remainder of the repair programme, to exchange views and ideas and to ensure that we continue to work well as a team. During incidents (which can be anything from pollution spills, fires or floods) we have teams who are well trained who come together to help protect communities and the environment. The recovery teams are equally vital and it’s their job to focus on the practicalities of emergency repairs and to pull together resources to work at pace. The Recovery Team is doing a great job for us and it was great to have the opportunity to say thanks for what they’ve done so far. Military inspections: All the engineering assessments for those flood defences that were inspected by the great military exercise are now complete and we are starting the quality checks and approval process now, to ensure that effective engineering solutions are designed and constructed to protect our communities. Cabinet Office: At the cabinet office meeting with officials on the 21st May we discussed how the data was coming together to help us build a picture of all that is needed to be done before the next winter, for Environment Agency defences and also Local Authority defences, and we will be reporting to ministers mid June. The Environment Agency Board met on Thursday 22nd May where they discussed the repair programme along the lessons learned and feedback showed that they are pleased with our progress. There is of course a lot left to do! National Operations Leadership group meeting was on Friday in Birmingham where I reported that already a third of the repairs on Environment Agency flood defences are already complete. Personal highlight of the week was looking forward to spending time with family over the Bank Holiday weekend! Next week I am in Ipswich presenting to the Regional Flood & Coast Committee Chairs Group where we will be discussing integrated flood risk management across all flood risk authorities (a seamless approach?) and I will be visiting sites around Suffolk and Norfolk so should have more photographs to share with you in my next blog. Repairs Teeside – We have repaired the fifty metre breach in the sea defence embankment at Greatham Creek, Teeside at a cost of £3 million. This embankment protects a large petrochemical site, over 300 houses, and significant agricultural land. Chesil Beach Over 250,000 tonnes of beach material was lost and the Environment Agency has been working with Army to re-profile the beach and restore protection to the community. At Burringham, temporary repairs were put in place along 50 meters of damaged defence. This involved sheet piling a section of damaged defence and reinforcing the bank with gravel. Permanent works will cost over £2m and protect over 600 households.
Sheet piling at Burringham

Sunday, 18 May 2014

week ending 16 May 2014 Ending 16 May 2014 Follow me on Twitter @SallySudworth Here are the highlights from the last few weeks: At the MRG (this is the Ministerial Recovery Group chaired by Eric Pickles) the same questions were raised around the financial provision for the repairs. Ministers are understandably keen to get that reassurance. The next meeting is now due mid June when we will have the results of the latest engineering assessments. We have circa 1300 to complete and we are down to our last 150. This is down to some great teamwork and a focused effort, so all this hard work is putting us in a strong position to define the full programme of repairs. Workshop. Next week I am bringing all the Area Recovery Managers together to discuss the latest progress, the co-ordination with our Area Ops crews and our suppliers, and to look ahead to plan the remaining workload. Board meetings: Other key meetings coming up are the Learning & Recovery Project Board, and the Environment Agency Board meetings. So the team gets a lot of high level scrutiny which brings its own pressures. Personal highlight of the week: Plans for the upcoming Women in Engineering Day on Monday 23rd June are developing. Check out events happening near you. I’ve been asked to go back to Cardiff University for the ICE Wales Cymru event which I’m looking forward to. Engineers for Overseas Development Summer Ball. This wonderful engineering charity that delivers life changing projects in Africa has volunteers who design and supervise construction of health centres, agricultural grinding mills and water supplies. The Ball is on Friday 13th June at the Manchester Conference centre. If you want tickets please let me know or email Past President of the ICE Richard Coackley is our guest of Honour. Go to for more info.