Nick Herbert meets Environment Agency

The Shadow Environment Secretary met with the EA's Regional Director Toby Willison on Friday (19 March).

Mr Herbert heard about how the regional office works with the Agency's central Flood Forecasting Centre and the Met Office to ensure that the most accurate data is available to provide flood warnings.

The Agency outlined the importance of early warning when flooding occurs and discussed the action taken when there was a risk of flooding at the end of February, particularly in the Upper Arun.  

Mr Herbert also discussed the future pressure on water supplies in the region and discussed proposals to encourage water companies to work more closely together to share resources so that supplies can be maintained and that the environment is not damaged by over-abstraction.

Toby Willison commented: "We are working with communities and our partners across the South East to prepare for the long term impacts of climate change and reducing the risk of flooding is a major part of our work.  Over the next decade we expect an additional half million people to be living in our region.

"Our collective challenge is to ensure their needs are met, through sustainable development that keeps people safe from flooding and by working together to manage water resources in a way that guarantees water supply while protecting the natural environment."

Nick Herbert commented: "When there is a risk of flooding it's essential that people are given the information they need to protect themselves and their homes.  Early warning is essential, and so I was pleased to see how closely the regional Environment Agency is working with the national organisation and the Met Office."

Mr Herbert added: "Ironically, as the threat of flooding continues so too does the prospect of future droughts and weather patterns change with climate change.  It's vital that water companies are encouraged to work together to share resources for the benefit of all their customers and the environment."



Notes for Editors

1. For more information on the Southern region Environment Agency, visit

2. The website of the Flood Forecasting Centre can be found here:

Alexander Black