ADA (Association of Drainage Authorities) firmly believes that internal drainage boards continue to provide a robust arrangement for the local governance of water level management in England following the publication of the National Audit Office’s (NAO) report on internal drainage boards.
The report focuses on governance and oversight arrangements; processes for raising concerns; and, the potential for conflicts of interest.
The sector has been making significant progress in recent years to address its visibility, governance and accountability, especially to the local communities being served.
ADA appreciates the NAO’s independent view of the sector and will work closely with its members and Defra to make further improvements. These will ensure IDBs deliver an efficient and cost effective service, whilst retaining their valuable local accountability.
Innes Thomson, ADA’s chief executive, commenting on the publication of the report, said: “The NAO report will help us to focus our attentions on those specific areas where further action can be taken to improve transparency and reduce potential conflicts of interest.
“We will continue to work very closely with Boards, Defra, the Environment Agency, local authorities and Natural England striving for excellence together. Today, ADA is proud to represent England’s IDBs that provide a much needed local service, good value for money, and carry out work that benefits local economies, their communities and the environment.”
It also strongly advocates increasing the publicity of IDB activities, both locally and nationally, to help the public to better understand the vital importance of the work they do to their, lives, livelihoods and local landscape.