Where is the professional research coming from primarily and the delivery unit that will put in play short, medium and long-term plans. The Cumbria Floods Partnership is not a delivery vehicle but monthly conversations that should only be a useful adjunct to a systematic parallel process. Reference to extant literature e.g. ICE Learning to Live with Rivers was published in 2002?
The gap between the lived experience of the communites' distress and the scale of resource responding is cavernous. We encourage you to buy-in now the global firms to act concurrently and accelerate via a modernised process. Strategic drift will cost lives. Clearly a major rethink needed about resource allocation from central govt. Have we appealed, like Oliver, for more?
You have the Institute of Civil Engineers report, commissioned by yourselves in 2002. Mathematical modelling worked in the 1970s but the recent Carlisle Flood Investigation Report was generalist civil engineering design/build led. Isn't this iniquitous, or even outrageous? And other such words of appropriate horror felt by the community. This leads to Helm's notion of "perversity". The EA should not by any means attempt to build what is already on the shelf. If the Cumbria Floods Partnership is a proxy for 'give the EA another 14 years' then I hope the National Review will restructure the EA to ensure concentration of effort on Immediate Actions. Five months on where are the data set from the professional firms with the tools and techniques to mathematically model and present their independent perspectives? This approach would be in line with Truss's modernisation. Building budgets from the ground up rather than arbitrary lumps of money which people are bravely working within. Which we are doing currently. Diligent but catastrophically flawed. Even if we can appeal for more we will still work from a low level and miss the optimal.
The Carlisle Flood Investigation Report shows the Pitt structure does not lead to leadership by the LLFA. Cumbria County Council are caught in the headlights to some degree by their lack of resource from govt cuts. They must appeal for additional resource to model an optimal defence system. Hence our proposals for Cumbria River Catchments Authority in partnership with the EA. With a Flood Protection Agency or similar to split off from the EA to provide managerial focus. The EA I note has 24 key areas of interest and cannot in truth provide flood protection. It is not set up to. It is like General Buller fighting on too many fronts. Its scope of interests lead to vague vision and mission statements. Reducing this scope not as difficult as we think managerially. But does need intent from the EA boardroom (see below).
It would be intelligible to those outside the industry to say that the EA has waited 14 years from the ICE report and is asking to only react to it now. We must fast track towards the performance built adjustments to defences via Arcadis or similar specialists. The implicit timescales of proposing more reviews is not acceptable. Drift is already in play. A major competence missing from the EA is complex project management skill sets.
Does Bevan have the ability as a CEO to deliver structural change. What in his CV can aid appropriate change management processes? I cannot see his skill set as delivering what we are alluding to.
The main bottlenecks are Resource, Structure, Capacity and Capabilities. You cannot make any progress friends without a serious strategic management adjustment of these areas. The methodological issues are Governance, Leadership and Management. The EA are not structured to lead on flood defence. So into the thematics must come Execution of any themes. Rory must address this in the National Review, but as a community we must support his approach to be strategic.
I have a working paper in play (attached), which if others wish to contribute comments or dialogue then please say. Is there value in having more management and leadership academics in the room?
Can we shift gear now and ask for the resources needed. We will support this request to central government.
Dr Stephen Gibbs MBA (Lancs) PhD (Lancs) PGCert(Mgt) PCPD MCMI FHEA