It was a great opportunity to attend the Flood and Community Engagement Event which was organised by the Green Vision at Leeds Beckett university on 23rd May 2016, as it is related to my PhD research about community participation with professionals on the event of natural disaster.
The event included a debate on recent flood activities within the Yorkshire and Humber district, the effects of these on local communities and how these communities are working together to develop solutions.
The event was hosted by Dr Andrew Platten, Associate Dean, Leeds Beckett University and he introduced the three Keynote Speakers:
Mike Potter, Civic Community Representative, Pickering
Dr Frances MacGuire, Heptonstall resident and environmental risk expert
Phil Marken, Owner of Leeds Open Source Art in Leeds. Organiser of the action group “Kirkstall Flood Clean Up”
Mike potter talked about the ran a pilot project in Pickering, North Yorkshire to study the effectiveness of a new methodology for flood management decision making. Mark puts an emphasis on community role; ‘You’ve got to talk to people and build relationships. Always work with people with a ‘can do’ attitude’
Dr Frances MacGuire, talked about her own experience on boxing day floods were shocking and depressing for Hebden Bridge residents. Dr Frances talked about lessons from costal floods could be learnt and said: Couldn’t build a concrete wall around whole of the UK coast. ‘Climate change is happening, faster and harder then we predicted’, therefore the focus on building community resilience and community preparedness. Mrs MacGuire said that there should be better communication between residents and statutory agencies, ‘it will flood again so must be prepared’
Philip Marken gave us a great example of his community response to Kirkstall flood.
Great lessons learned from the roundtable debate about the importance of community engagement and communication with professionals, community preparedness for the next flood event is essential.