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The Jubilee River story -  The Government's Response to Sir Michael Pitt's Review of the summer 2007 Floods

This report is 97 pages and 2.9MB. Only the Foreword is reproduced with the complete document available via the links below...........


Since the devastating floods in 2007 the Government, in partnership with many organisations at regional and local level, has been working to improve our ability to anticipate and respond to floods.

Sir Michael Pitt's review of the events of 2007 set out with great clarity what needed to be done to better prepare for all types of flooding, whether from rivers, surface water or the sea. It also set the agenda for a better safety regime for our reservoirs. The Government supported all his recommendations and has been coordinating action to implement them.

This report explains what we and others have done to implement Sir Michael's recommendations. I believe it demonstrates substantial progress and the following pages give many examples of what has been achieved, from the establishment of the Flood Forecasting Centre to more coordinated emergency response and the introduction of the Flood and Water Management Bill.

But there is no room for complacency. We know that with climate change the risk of flooding is only set to increase. The recent major flooding in Cumbria and the heavy rainfall elsewhere in the country has underlined once again the importance of Sir Michael's recommendations. I believe the response to those events by the emergency services, agencies and many others shows that lessons have been learnt. Nonetheless the impact on families and communities has been keenly felt and the process of recovery will take many months.

If we are to meet the future challenge of flooding we must continue to develop the culture of partnership and cooperation which was evident during recent events. The Government remains determined to make this country better able to anticipate and deal with flooding and I believe our progress on the Flood and Water Management Bill and other work to implement the Pitt recommendations clearly shows this.

Hilary Benn

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

December 2009


Copy of full Defra report here (2.9MB) - pitt-progress091215.pdf

Copy of full Defra report via link to Defra website (2.9MB) -