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Committee Present

Martin Buckle (MB)    Chair
Paul Williams (PW)    NFU Cymru
Darren Thomas (DT)    Pembrokeshire County Council
Paul Blackman (PB)    Wallingford Hydro Solutions
Anne-Marie Moon (AMM)    JBA Consulting
Jeremy Parr (JP)    Natural Resources Wales
Mike Wellington (MW)    Waterco
Natalie Haines (NH)    Mott MacDonald
Geraint Edwards (GE)    Conwy County Borough Council    
Karen Potter (KP)    Open University
Dominic Scott (DS)    Dwr Cymru – Welsh Water
Jean-Francois Dulong (JFD)    Welsh Local Government Association

Welsh Government 

James Jewell-Edmonds (JJE)                
Keith Ivens (KI)                
John Owen (JO)                
Corinna James (CJ)

Other Speakers

Owen Conry (OC)                Conwy County Borough Council


Catherine Wilson (CW)    Cardiff University
Andrew Stone (AS)    Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC
Leanne Llewellyn (LL)    Welsh Government

1/2. Apologies and introductions

The Chair gave the apologies and introductions were made.

MB introduced PW to the Committee as a newly appointed member. PW provided a background on his skills and experience. 

3. Declaration of interests

No conflicts of interest noted.

4. Minutes of the meeting 03.02.23 and matters arising

Draft minutes had been circulated for comment and subsequently published.

The minutes were agreed.


  • Item 8 – action for LL; will be picked up in agenda item 5. 
  • Item 9 – DS – have not heard back from EH; DS / NH to chase.  
  • Item 12.3 – MB noted an invite shared with the NICW to meet today, but they were unavailable. However, an item is on the agenda and an update will be provided by JP.

5. Chair’s announcements

The Chair made the following announcements:

“I would like to update the Committee on the meetings and events that I have attended since our last meeting.  In February, I attended the launch of the “Working together to adapt to a changing climate: flood and coast” research project conclusions. The project forms part of the joint England and Wales Research Programme. The report summarises learning about how authorities can work with communities on planning and decision-making in situations where long-term flood and coastal risk management is complex or contentious. 

In February and March, I attended meetings of the Flood and Coastal Risk Programme Board. In addition to receiving updates on progress on 2022-23 schemes, these meetings enabled the Programme Board to discuss recommendations on the 2023-2024 Capital Pipeline, on NRW’s funding and on the Small Schemes Grant applications. The next meeting takes place in June.

Also, in February and March, I attended several meetings with representatives of the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales, and consultants acting on their behalf, focusing on the scoping for the Commission’s review “Managing Flood Impacts in Wales 2050.”

In March I also attended a meeting with Risk Management Authorities and the Welsh Government convened by the WLGA to review the strategic context around the Welsh capital programme and the implementation of the National Strategy.

Also in March, I attended the quarterly meeting with the Chairs of the English RFCCs. The meeting had a particular focus on interfaces with the water industry, and on property flood resilience. A further meeting takes place in June.

Again, in March, I attended a Planning Aid Wales network training event on planning and flood risk management. The event was targeted at town and community councils and at community groups, but also attracted a number of local authority professional staff.

In April, I met with representatives of the British Red Cross to discuss their recently published study “Every Time it Rains”, which addresses the issues of preparedness and resilience at the community level. The report draws on the experiences of several community-based focus groups from around the UK, including one in Rhondda Cynon Taf. I have invited the British Red Cross to present their findings to a future meeting of the Committee.

The report on legislative change that we approved in September recognises the value of the dialogue established with the Law Commission. I have continued to progress that dialogue since our last Committee. I have also attended several meetings focusing on the community engagement element of our resources theme, and on our research theme. These will be touched on further today under the relevant agenda items.

At our meeting in September 2022, we received a presentation from Natural Resources Wales on their proposed Flood Risk Management Plan. Subsequently, the Committee received the draft documents for consultation purposes in March 2023. A response has been compiled by Committee members remotely for submission by the deadline of May 24th. It will be subject to confirmation at the meeting of the Committee in September 2023.

Looking ahead, in June I have a meeting scheduled with the Minister for Climate Change. It will provide an opportunity to brief her on our annual report and on our consultation responses, and to update her on our work programme.

Finally, I must congratulate the members of the Committee who have recently been appointed to serve on it for the next three years. I must also extend my thanks to Lorna Davis and David Harris, who served on the Committee for the last four years but have not sought to stand again for a further term.”

JP requested an update on the Law Commission work; MB noted that the situation has not changed since we last met regarding the 14th Programme. It is understood that they are pursuing discussions with Defra and Welsh Government (WG). 

6. Items from the regional groups

DT provided an update for the South West region. The next meeting of the regional flood group is 30th May 2023; the next meeting of the coastal group is 13th June 2023. The regional group is focused on the pending S18 information request for NRW. All grant funding allocations, both revenue and capital, have been given and now there is a focus on managing those and maximising spend, recognising WG are increasingly seeking to avoid money being given back. 

The 6 LLFA’s managers have met independently of the regional group twice in recent months to try to establish some common ground for collaborative working and assistance and support for each other. They are exploring efficiencies with regional training, collaboration of software and technical skills e.g., inspections and SAB duties.  It is early days, but training has been delivered regionally and more is on the way for all to attend. 

DT issued a polite plea regarding the timely issue of grant letters from WG, which he noted would be helpful, because of causing difficulty to get higher level sign off, chasing finance for approval and all of this during closure. A later award also impacts staff recruitment. 

Furthermore, concerns around skills and capacity to develop the Local Flood Risk Management Strategies have been expressed, and to discharge other functions (no change, this is still an issue and deadline for the draft strategies is this year). There were no major winter storms, which eased the burden on LLFAs. 

The coastal group last met on 31st January 2023.  The group has advertised for a Coastal Officer post and will be interviewing in the next couple of weeks. The WCGF has identified a reduction in the number of challenged SMP actions as a priority, and work has commenced to arrange a workshop after the next meeting, hopefully with a new resource able to assist going forward. Furthermore, the Wales Coastal Monitoring Centre (WCMC) have been around various counties installing snap shots to record changes to the coast using visitor’s photos. 
MB enquired regarding the recruitment of a coastal officer, requesting DT to expand further on how this came about. DT noted the concern around the high number of SMP actions which require attention. Funding became available, so a decision was made to recruit an officer to work on these. The role will be a short term, 2-year post, with funding provided by WG. 
JP noted that the Epoch 1 SMP will come to an end soon and that there is an opportunity, and NRW have a desire to make something of this, in furthering the debate on Coastal Adaptation. There is scope for us to work on this collaboratively. DT highlighted that there may be an opportunity for the new coastal officer to attend the next Forum meeting to begin discussions. 
GE provided an update for the North Wales (NW) region but noted that he was unable to attend most recent meeting, with OC deputising in providing further feedback. OC noted the last meeting on 26th April, in that one of the main items was a presentation on the Natural Flood Management (NFM) Accelerator from Dickon Wells from Welsh Government. This was seen as a halfway house between a sustainable farming scheme and noted the funding that was available. All local authorities (LAs) noted issues with resource – in NW, some LAs have advertised for Flood Risk Managers. Conwy made 5 applications for NFM, and the scoring methodology was discussed before the pipeline was announced for the current financial year. 
Regarding resource and development issues, JFD noted developing a 2-day course in the summer which would allow staff to attend and gain a greater understanding of coastal issues, Section 19 reports, legislation, etc. A venue has been identified for delivering the course in July. JFD noted credit to NRW, RMAs and WG for assistance in developing the course. RMAs will lead on it and NW will be a trial. If successful, a course will then be delivered in South Wales. KI noted that LL and other members of the WG FCERM will be attending.

GE made a request for a draft form of the Local Strategies to be shared by October, which is a standing item for the NW group. Section 18 (S18) reporting was also discussed, in which Ross Akers from NRW gave a presentation. 

DS noted his desire to pick up on the work of the previous chair of the NW group, as DS has now taken on this role. He drew attention to the recent placement of Greg Edwards in the FCERM WG team, a PHD student, who is undertaking a piece of work on the scoring methodology for capital schemes, which will be an interesting piece of work to look out for. 
MB responded on local strategies, questioning whether LAs in the North are on course to meeting the deadline? OC, speaking on behalf of Conwy, hoped that they will. However, OC acknowledged issues with resource in completing this, which may be an issue for other LAs too. There has been discussion on some LAs bringing in consultants to assist. 

JFD provided an update on behalf of the South East (SE) meeting, in lieu of AS. The meeting focused on the Capital Programme, specifically the scoring methodology, and an update on local Flood Risk Management Plans (FRMPs). The group was interested in the Public Health Wales presentation at the previous FCEC meeting. There is an issue with the lateness of funding announcements from WG. A positive discussion on the Programme Board took place; Owen Griffiths presented, noting the SE seems to be taking the majority of the funding for schemes at 43%. There was discussion around issues with programmes in LAs which experience problems at the end of the financial year in terms of delivery. A further discussion around scoring took place, in which Greg Edwards presented some of the thinking - looking at footprints of communities, the constraints on allocated funding, and a view to work with more natural catchments in identifying schemes. The current scoring methodology has too much focus on protecting properties, which is the view of SE group. It needs to be better focused on schemes that work on adaptation.

On the Local Strategy, JFD noted that all LAs are pretty much working at the same pace and are identifying areas at risk. It is interesting to see the difference in experience between the LAs on what can be achieved. Some of the LAs have gone external with consultants. However, there is a risk that external consultants cannot bring the ‘reality factor’ in understanding local issues or politics. Nonetheless, they believe they will reach the Local Strategy deadline. Furthermore, there was an update on the new regional Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) group – looking at ways of working and collaboration, inspections, etc. The plan is to meet quarterly going forward and will be supporting WG. 

NH referenced the Communities at Risk Register (CaRR), noting concerns around the transparency of the dataset; how is it generated and how often is it updated? The CaRR is used for a number of high-level decisions, but there is concern that it is not scrutinised effectively. JFD agreed and explained that there was a discussion around this, noting the Flood Risk Assessment Wales (FRAW) map and whether the CaRR could be developed and challenged in the same way. JP noted that there is an explanatory note with the CaRR explaining how the data is gathered, and there is internal consideration in NRW on how the information is displayed on the website and how it is presented. 

MB noted that on information in the public domain, CaRR gets increasing references, but would be particularly challenging for members of the public to understand. With potentially contentious schemes, there will be a greater drive for public challenge. As such, it is important that information / data is easily accessible and understood by the public. There is potential to agenda this in a future FCEC meeting to discuss. DT highlighted that in Pembrokeshire, there is difficulty in developing their website in terms of meeting accessibility requirements. These can sometimes restrict the scope of what can be included and published on the website. As a result, the LA have used external consultants to host separate websites to host information on projects. All in response to increasing security against digital attacks. 

MB commented that the CaRR  is an important resource, but it needs to be utilised to the full and could be better utilised by improving accessibility. JP noted there are issues around the purpose / reason for publication and security concerns, with constraints also on the publication on the website of technical information. MB noted this will increasingly become a greater challenge, as with the wider societal move towards issues with digital data security and concerns. 


Following discussion it was agreed that the Committee Chair should write to NRW to formally raise concerns about the CaRR, and about the transparency of data available on the website. 

MB noted, on the SE feedback on lateness of funding announcements, that this is a continuing  concern. There is potential to agenda this at the next programme board. KI noted that JO is working on assessing the processes within the team, notably where do they fall down and how could capacity be better utilised? Also working closely with JP’s team, working together to understand how to make processes  work better. Upon completion of Greg Edwards’ work, the WG FCERM team will develop some outputs and feedback. 

7. Colwyn Bay Waterfront: Presentation by Owen Conry, Flood Risk & Infrastructure Manager – Conwy County Borough Council

OC presented on overview of the Colwyn Bay Waterfront Projects. 

OC explained how the waterfront experienced issues with deterioration of existing sea walls, meaning the Colwyn Bay frontage had become more vulnerable. There was significant overtopping, which led to an increased revenue burden on the Council. As a result, the railway and road were at long term risk, along with other critical assets. The Colwyn Bay Waterfront Project was created to tie in coastal defence and wider regeneration. 

Via the project, the frontage was divided up into 3 phases – family zone, water sports zone and nature zone. Funding was received via the WG (Flood and Economy & Transport), ERDF, CCBC and Welsh Water. 

Questions / discussion

NH noted that a designer prepared a beach management plan; there are trigger points in which CCBC will need to intervene – in terms of climate change, it is a 50-year scheme, and beyond this, what further interventions will be required. OC highlighted that the business case and local strategy needs to take account of funding for maintenance. GE also noted that that it is important to bring the community with us on these schemes. There was some initially some negativity, but the majority of residents see the benefit now that the scheme is complete. GE also acknowledged the different funding bodies contributing to beach renourishment, recognising that the beach is both an amenity and a protection.

8. Drainage & Wastewater Management Plan: Dominic Scott, Welsh Water

DS presented an update on the Drainage & Wastewater Management Plan (DWMP).

DS outlined the Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water’s (DCWW) plan for drainage and wastewater management, highlighting the aim to achieve the best outcome for the environment and their customers, with it being an approach for long-term planning of drainage and wastewater services.

In terms of the timeline, the first cycle began in 2019. 828 catchments were looked at in terms of their risk profile and how this may change with climate change factors. The options were run through an environmental impact assessment. The final plan was due to be published 31 March, but Ofwat extended this to 31 May. This will include an expression of what DCWW intend to spend – however, this may need some co-ordination  with investment planning profiles.

The assessment identified 39 catchments as priorities for evaluation, which resulted in 174 programmes of work planned to cover 50 years into the future. In terms of the price review, 22 programmes were put forward to years 2025 – 2030.

The DWMP has identified a need for greater integrated working which will require the support of other stakeholders. The view is that there is a need for a National Integrated Drainage Programme. There currently is not a framework for discussion of integrated work, therefore we need a forum for this dialogue to happen at a technical and strategic level.

Questions / discussion

JP asked why has the timing for the review and the funding not aligned? He agreed that the idea of collaboration in managing water in catchments is important but felt that it is important not to just talk about it in the DCWW lens, but more in a wider, multi-agency ‘integrated water / catchment management’ approach. DS agreed, noting separate organisations need to understand what roles are and how they can work better together. In responding to JP’s first question, DS replied that it may act as a lesson on how we can better integrate plans across Wales / organisations. 

PB noted involvement with the auditing / price review process, asking – do you sense that there is an acknowledgement from Ofwat that there might need to be a change to the approach with regards to integration, differing timescales and looking at different streams of funding? DS acknowledged that there are challenges in aligning the approaches and there is work to be done.  MB commented that it does underline the challenges of joining up of separate organisations, and even within large organisations. 

JFD commented, on Ofwat requirements, that there is not much flexibility to work outside the box. How flexible are the DWMP plans? Can they be adapted to critical issues facing Wales – i.e., political, and outside influences? DS responded to note that there is scope to flex within the plans to react to external factors and adapt to needs. 

NH asked, do you see a difference in the approach of England and Wales? DS confirmed that there are, in that there is often in England more push on the numerical requirement, whilst Wales takes a more pragmatic approach on impacts, which allows more flexibility. 
PW noted that nutrient management in the farming industry is a key concern at the moment; farming and the water industry need to work together, and there does not need to be any nutrient discharge into rivers, but this will require a holistic approach. 

9. The Roads Review and the Resilient Roads Fund – Implications for Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management - Corinna James, Head of Transport Planning & Appraisal, Welsh Government

CJ provided an update on the Roads Review and the Resilient Roads Fund (RRF). 
She outlined the aim of the RRF - adaptation to climate change, including addressing disruptions caused by severe weather to the highway network, especially to the public transport network. An annual capital grant is awarded to LAs, which so far amounts to £53m+ since the introduction of the RRF in 2020 – 21.  

CJ also explained that the RRF is tied to the Wales Transport Strategy 2021, which has 3 priorities, 4 ambitions and 5 ways of working. This is also linked to the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act and includes a sustainable transport hierarchy. 

The next steps included a planned move to a regional funding model. This will result in 4 regional transport plans / transport delivery plans. The action to deliver the plans will still sit with the LAs. 

Questions / discussion

DT commented on the thinking around funding approach – regarding dealing with adaptation strategically, with cross over between flood and transport, is the RRF an adaptation fund? This could potentially lead to easier business case production. Furthermore, JP noted the challenges when there are coastal areas with road and rail next to the coast – coastal defences / adaptations need funding, however disparate funding pots lead to issues – again there is a need for integration in the approach to funding / projects. CJ responded that her team are hoping that by moving to the regional model, this will allow for a more joined up way of working and inclusion of Transport for Wales and wider organisations. The team are making a big step forward by bringing in the transport elements on a regional footing, and a longer-term goal is to bring in wider organisations outside of transport. 

MB commented that whilst there are not formal mechanisms to bring these funding streams together, however, as per OC’s presentation, it is possible to do so on a scheme-by-scheme basis; however, a specific framework would assist with this greatly. 

NH asked when the approach becomes regional, will the £53m be divided amongst the regions? CJ responded to note work is ongoing, and that the team will be looking at this – there are several grants, and it is certainly the intention that these will go to the regions. In the past we have split by formula, based on parameters, which may be the approach going forward. The team are hoping to move to a 3-year funding cycle / longer term, as opposed to annual; however, has not yet been decided. JFD noted that the Corporate Joint Committees (CJCs) can play a role in prioritisation. 

PW commented – with the current hold on road building in Wales, if there was a case for promoting an environmental / flood benefit, could it be built? CJ responded – yes, with justification. The principles and tests for future developments have been published as part of the roads review. The green light will be given if assessed to be in line with the Wales Transport Strategy. Business cases will be assessed as and when submitted and can lead to new road construction, if necessary, as long as it is achieving modal shift and contributing towards decarbonisation, along with access to jobs or is economy related. DT added that in Pembrokeshire, they will need to build new roads to serve decarbonisation project. 

JFD noted that a lot of capital funding via transport grants is welcomed by LAs – how to you foresee the maintenance of active transport assets going forward?  CJ responded that respective LAs will agree to take on the ongoing revenue and maintenance costs as a result of scheme acceptance. 

10. Sub-Committees

10.1    Resources Sub-Committee – To confirm the membership of the Sub-Committee, to receive the minutes of the meeting held on 16th May 2023, and to consider responses to the Committee’s Resources Report.

MB explained that the intention had been to get agreement of appointments to the Sub-Committees today, however, delays in appointing the wider FCEC meant that he has been unable to progress these discussions. 

MB requested the Committee’s authority to proceed with these discussions for all sub-committees over coming weeks, with a report back to the September Committee meeting. This was agreed

The minutes of 16th May have been circulated to members of the Sub-Committee; however, they are still in draft form and may be further amended. 

MW noted that resource is the main issue in recruiting staff. At the upcoming flood conference in Telford, MW intends to put an idea forward regarding skills apprenticeships at a workshop. There are Level 6 apprenticeships for engineers, however, there is a missing link between geography students and engineers. A pathway is needed from Level 3 to Level 6. The purpose of the workshop is to assess Level 3 apprenticeships. MB made a request to circulate thoughts on this and get feedback from the Committee on course content and wider views.

AMM commented on the need to make sure it works in Wales; there is an instance of an apprentice based in Newport from Bristol University, so 50% of their work has to be undertaken in England, which is an issue. We need to make sure this is addressed. JFD noted difficulty in Wales to get WG to address frameworks. There is a 5 – 6-year accreditation process for establishing apprenticeships. UWTSD are currently delivering an apprenticeship degree. KP noted that from an Open University perspective, there is a massive differential between using existing module material and bespoke course writing; the university also needs to know prescribed numbers of students before running a course. 

MB highlighted the responses to the resources report from WG and the WLGA – these have been discussed initially in the Sub-Committee meeting. 

KI provided an overview of the response provided by the Minister for Climate Change. 
MB also provided an overview of the discussions undertaken in the Sub-Committee, including identifying a continuing role for the Committee to take the proposals forward. As a Committee, in due course, there will be a need to consider our capacity to take on additional tasks. There is potential for some work to be commissioned in moving elements of the report forward, which is something the FCEC may want to consider in future years, as the Committee may wish to act in a commissioning role, similar to the Infrastructure Commission. 

JFD provided an overview of the WLGA response. The WLGA is supportive of the work that is being undertaken around planning, with some slight concern around the influence the Committee can have on the core planning policy. There are 3 recommendations that WLGA has been named as lead, and 10 as supporting – however, capacity may be an issue, as JFD is a team of 1. Funding is in place only until 2024, so JFD will work with WG to put forward a business case, but it is not possible to confidently plan beyond this time yet. 

MB noted there will be an opportunity to discuss at next FCEC meeting, by which time the Sub-Committee will have submitted recommendations. 

NH commented that there is going to be a need to prioritise what proposals are undertaken in terms of timescales There is a need to avoid spreading resources too thinly. MB noted that this will be discussed in part at the next Sub-Committee. MB also noted that this will likely be a phased programme undertaken over the long-term (whilst some short-term proposals can be taken forward). 

MB noted that in terms of what the Minister has said, a key message to take away from the letter is the issue of cross-sectoral working, which is something that gets a positive response. This is also pertinent in light of earlier discussions, with the potential to work across government departments; there is also potential for some quick wins here. The issue of assets not in RMA ownership, which is also part of the Policy and Legislation Sub-Committee report, receives a positive – there is potential to work with the Law Commission to maintain momentum on this. The Minister has also identified collaboration and joint-working arrangements, and how these can improve, suggesting the possibility of establishing a further sub-committee to further the collaboration agenda. We will give consideration to this. 

JFD noted on last point, that WLGA support increasing collaboration. The catchment approach will allow us to reconfigure collaboration approaches. JP commented on the catchment approach in NRW – these ties in with early conversations on adaptation. We are currently undertaking work looking at the Taff as a catchment. MB commented that this is important not just across separate organisations, but also within them. There is a tension between historical assets which need to be maintained alongside the work of adaptation and looking to the future; collaboration is often talked about, but very difficult to introduce effectively. It is also reassuring to hear of examples from the regional groups implementing collaborative working, which shows there is an appetite for it. JP responded that creating integrated teams across organisations is a deeper aim to facilitate authentic collaboration. 

NH asked if Public Service Boards (PSBs) have been explored as a collaboration vehicle? JP replied that they have, but this is still a far from ideal process – i.e., reporting back to separate structures, as opposed to reporting to a central source. MB noted that PSBs are also driven by political and current affairs. DT agreed that historically PSBs have been a little disjointed, but in Pembrokeshire, a regional adaptation strategy (developed by Dr Alan Netherwood) will be developed into an action plan which the PSB is assisting organisations in implementing. 

10.2    Policy and Legislation Sub-Committee – To confirm the membership of the Sub-Committee

Action - To be reported back to  the next meeting. 

10.3    Research Sub-Committee – To consider a proposal to establish the Sub-Committee, to consider draft terms of reference (ToR), and to confirm the membership of the Sub-Committee.

MB indicated a draft ToR was shared with the Committee amongst supporting documents and drew attention to this. It is similar in format to existing Sub-Committees, however, with a focus on the research agenda. Some preliminary meetings have been undertaken already and there is a consensus among this group that it would now be prudent to formally establish the Sub-Committee. 

MB proposed that the draft ToR be provisionally accepted, to be returned to the Sub-Committee for consideration, and agreement at the next meeting of the full committee.  This was agreed

Action – Membership of the Sub-Committee to be reported back to the next meeting. 

11. Reports

11.1   Flood and Coastal Erosion Committee Annual Report 2023 – To agree the Report. 
MB provided a brief overview of the content of the report. 

MB has received comments from JP regarding accuracy on points of detail; MB will adjust as necessary. The summary confirms that the FCEC has undertaken a lot of work over the last year and there are a lot of highlights. The response to TAN 15 has been referred to at length in the report.

Section 3 

There has been good attendance at meetings, a positive culture and experience in the Committee. The two Sub-Committees have been a very dominant factor in our workload. There are some concerns around the Committee’s capacity; FCERM is a large field, and a focused approach has been taken, but the breadth of activities has grown over time. 

Section 4  

This section reflects the discussion on the forward work programme at the the last Committee meeting, together with the report on this agenda. 

The Annual Report was agreed.

11.2   Planning - Technical Advice Note (TAN) 15: Development, Flooding and Coastal Erosion – Further Amendments – To confirm the response submitted to the Welsh Government.

MB noted that there is no shortage of issues which have been raised by the new consultation document. The Committee has responded comprehensively to the consultation. The draft has endeavoured to shift the goalposts from the draft we had previously commented on. One of the issues the new draft has raised is that there may be community adaptation and resilience plans prepared. On the face of it, there will be a valued mechanism to steer these plans in areas needed which may be challenged by climate change, and as such, this could be an important step forward in the field of FCERM; however, the draft left a lot of questions unanswered.  

The Minister has indicated the deadline for introducing TAN 15 has been pushed back further beyond June. KI indicated that the Minister is keen to find a balance between flood risk and regeneration which, however, is a significant challenge. 68 responses have been received to the consultation, which will likely take some time to assess. It is not currently possible to confirm a firm date at present for completion. There is an indication that a broad range of views and feedback has been received. MB noted that one of the risks of passing decision making to LAs could be an increasing need to call in decisions. MB acknowledged the capacity and resource constraints in the WG Planning Team are a factor in the time and approach in assessing the responses to the consultation. 

NH commented that the latest draft was a limited representation of what is required – acknowledging difficulties in implementing as a practitioner. NH also commented on the need to ensure that the WG FCERM team are fully tied in with Planning team on TAN 15, with high levels of collaboration. 

MB commented that one thing the earlier draft of TAN 15 gave was clear guidance to planning officers, whilst the latest version of the TAN is much less clear. It needs to provide planning officers with a framework to give them confidence in their decisions. The current draft of TAN 15 would put more pressure on the FCERM capital programme, which runs against the grain.

11.3   Managing Flood Impacts in Wales 2050: Review to be undertaken by the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales – To confirm the response to the Scoping Report, and to receive an update from the Project Advisory Group by Jeremy Parr.

JP provided an update on the proposed review on behalf of the Project Advisory Group (PAG). 
JP noted that Arup undertook work in producing the scoping report and reported back on key findings. Individual feedback from the PAG and Committee members was provided. JP noted that it is a draft document and may be subject to change. 

Key highlights of the document include:

  • ‘Visioning’ – an opportunity to paint a picture of the future. Likely to be commissioned as a piece of work. 
  • Spatial / strategic response – likely where you will find catchment plans. To note, the community resilience approach is across all elements. 
  • Funding review –there will be scope to change this to focus on adaptation as there is already a lot of work on funding. 
  • Spatial / land use planning – this picks up on TAN 15. 
  • Timeframe – is challenging in what is achievable. 
  • Workstreams 1 and 2 appear to be locked in now. Workstream 3 is still under consideration, and Workstream 4 may be commissioned later as there is a lot going on in this space. 

JP noted that work is underway to identify blockers to adaptation and how to unblock them. The focus needs to be on delivery and not revisiting what is already known. Also, skills are not featured as a workstream within this commission, whereas his view is that they should. 
DS noted the challenge to ensure there is not too much overlap in the agenda between this work and ours as a Committee.  

JFD asked if it would be prudent to get the corporate buy-in from partner organisations prior to taking this work forward? JP noted that it is not yet clear how they will take these workstreams forward. 

MB commented that the engagement issue is key; we do not want this to result in a report which does not lead to active outputs. The value of NICW bringing this forward will enable some cross-cutting areas to proceed with mainstreaming adaptation. 

KP asked if membership of PAG still under review? JP replied yes, but this is to be confirmed. KP suggested One Voice Wales to offer community representation. 

Action JP to feedback on behalf of FCEC to PAG on this and to reach out to One Voice Wales. 

11.4   Committee Work Programme - To receive the report of the Chair on the Work Programme, and to consider the recommendation that the updated Work Programme be approved.     

MB provided an update on the Committee Work Programme, as per supplemental document. 
Regarding Annex 1, noting the next Committee meeting on 6th September 2023 will take place virtually, with the following meeting to take place in-person in November 2023, provisionally in Bridgend. 

Regarding Annex 3, this will be updated and recirculated. Action MB

12. Any other business previously notified to the Chair.

JFD noted a political seminar on 5th July 2023 in Llandrindod Wells. This could be an opportunity to raise profile of FCERM and focus on the adaptation agenda. NICW will also attend to discuss the projects. JFD would like to extend the invite to Committee members. MB encouraged attendance at the aforementioned event.   

13. Date and venue of next meeting

Wednesday 6th September 2023, Microsoft Teams (virtual).