A minor change in government legislation would improve the fire and rescue service’s response to flooding in England, an FBU report has concluded.
In a submission to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA), the union says ministers could award firefighters a statutory duty to respond to major flooding incidents in England through the use of a Statutory Instrument.
Statutory Instruments are a form of secondary legislation that allows laws to be updated and amended without MPs and peers needing to pass a new Act of Parliament.
The EFRA committee is conducting an inquiry into the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 that aimed for ‘better, more comprehensive management of flood risk’.
However, the act failed to implement the recommendations of the Pitt review which found that ‘the public and rescuers were put at unnecessary risk’ by a lack of clarity over who was responsible for the emergency response to flooding during the 2007 floods.
The FBUs submission concludes that a statutory duty would ‘improve resilience in the face of the increased risk of flooding’ and be ‘relatively straightforward’ to implement using Statutory Instrument legislation.