THE Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is looking for a new chairman for the Environment Agency’s Anglian (Eastern) Regional Flood Defence Committee (RFDC), which could plug a funding gap for flood defences in Godmanchester.

The committee chairperson has an important part to play in helping reduce the flood risk to people and property in local communities, the agency says.

The committees help develop and complete multi-million pound programmes of work, and provide advice on community engagement, coastal erosion, incident management and emergency planning within their regions.

One early task will be to decide whether to help fund the planned £11million flood defence scheme for Godmanchester that has just fallen victim to Government cuts.

Committees also have responsibility for raising local levies – a possible source of funds for the Godmanchester scheme – and providing an accountable forum for testing new ideas and ways of working.

New legislation will change the approach to flood and coastal risk management including replacing RFDCs with regional flood and coastal committees (RFCCs). This will give them additional responsibilities to cover all flood risks as well as coastal erosion changes.

The chairman of the RFDC will automatically become the chairperson of the RFCC after these changes.

The agency says applicants should have some leadership and committee chair skills, experience of community engagement, engineering or local government and good knowledge of flood and coastal erosion risk management issues in the committee’s area.

INFORMATION: For further details please see http://publicappts.defra.gov.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=57&Itemid=13 or contact Natalie Rothwell on 01733 464428. The closing date for applications is March 18, with interviews held on March 31.