Headlines: September 5th, 2007

People affected by this summer’s extensive floods are being given the chance to contribute to the investigation into what happened. Sir Michael Pitt, the independent chair of the Government’s ‘Lessons Learned Review’ wants them to share their experiences.

A special website has been set up to allow people to submit their comments and views at http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/floodingreview Sir Michael said he would be visiting many of the affected communities to talk to residents, local businesses and members of front-line services to get their first-hand experiences. “In the meantime, I’d like people to log on to the website and share their comments. All contributions will be taken on board and will factor into the review process,” he said.

The review is being led by the Cabinet Office and has been asked to study the emergency response to the floods in June and July and to look at ways of reducing the risk and impact of flooding in the future. It has eight specific objectives and Sir Michael will be supported by teams drawn mainly from Defra, the Department of Communities and Local Government, as well as experts from the Met Office, the Environment Agency, local authorities and the utilities.

Sir Michael has made it clear he wants to draw on evidence from all those involved in the response, people in affected properties, including public buildings such as schools, and from people whose properties may be vulnerable in future floods.