susdrain – to 2018 and beyond….
Suzanne Simmons, CIRIA
Welcome back after what we hope was an enjoyable summer for you all.
September sees the launch of susdrain’s third two year term for 2016-2018. We started out in September 2012 as a modest, community platform focused on improving the uptake of SuDS and capturing relevant material relating to quality delivery. Ideally we wanted to showcase all things good, but we are unafraid of the bad, or even the ugly, if there is a point to be made that will further the cause of continual improvement. In launching this third term, we extend a very warm thank you to returning susdrain funding organisations and we are very pleased to welcome a number of significant new partners and supporters.
So – has anything changed since 2012? Legislatively perhaps not, but in terms of delivery I think we can honestly say that there has been a shift in favour of SuDS, or at the very least further drive for retrofit schemes with a growing recognition of the multiple benefits of SuDS. In 2012 SuDS were at the centre of a shifting agenda politically and legislatively. susdrain was established as a forum to promote their inclusion and to support what were to become the newly formed SABs. Well…. SABs never happened, but susdrain’s remit remains clear – we are still here to support delivery of SuDS and in particular the changed role of local government, especially planners in seeking and approving them. This is in context of their increasing work load and reduced resources. Our energies for the next two years will be used to support that role to ensure quality schemes are delivered, and to ensure those schemes that are approved can provide multiple benefits.
However we recognise that it is not all about local authority planners. There are other roles and potential SuDS champions to consider in the wider picture – highway authorities, maintenance and management teams, statutory service providers, river trusts, community groups, etc. In the more immediate future we will have the opportunity to unpick the emerging results from this summer’s CIWEM Big SuDS Survey and to use that data to further inform the approach we can take over the next two years. We will seek opportunities to share our considered opinion and expertise via a range of conduits into the government review of SuDS legislation.
Whatever the outcome of that review, susdrain will continue to promote sustainable drainage to the industry and its associated professions as the go-to website for all things SuDS. We look forward to collaborating with you all in shaping the future of SuDS over the next two years and thank you for your continued support.