Climate Resilient Communities Conference 2016

Date of Conference

28 January 2016


Jim Hodgson (Environment Agency) Jamie Clarke (Climate Outreach) Katharine Knox (Joseph Rowntree Foundation) Rachel Walters (Environment Agency) Lindsey McEwen (University of the West of England) Kevin Burchell (University of Westminster) Paul Cobbing (National Flood Forum) Paul Fisher (University of Birmingham, chair of WMCREN) Laura Edwards (Hampshire Local Resilience Forum) Dean Hodges (Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service) Hannah Burgess (Staffordshire County Council) Josie Bateman (Northamptonshire County Council) Stephen Emery (University of Birmingham) Cllr. Martin Barker (Cheshire West & Chester Council) Mary Dhonau (Property Care Association)

Purpose of the Conference

The Climate Resilient Communities Conference 2016 (#CRCC2016) brought together a variety of delegates from different backgrounds all of whom have an interest in protecting our most vulnerable communities from the impacts of extreme weather and how these impacts are worsening due to climate change.  One of the key aims of #CRCC2016 were to facilitate connections between these delegates so that they can help each other to develop community resilience programmes in their local areas.  The lack of national direction in terms of which bodies should lead on the development of community resilience programmes is no longer an excuse for inaction, and CRCC2016 gave delegates the opportunity to work together to achieve their common aims. Delegates also heard from a programme of excellent speakers, including some case studies where organisations have already worked in communities and achieved results.  The most striking thing was the diversity of organisations that had done this, from Local Resilience Forums, to Flood Risk Managers, to Universities, to community members themselves.  These presentations showed how schemes can be successfully achieved despite there being little resource available.  Delegates also learnt about a series of tools and support mechanisms in place to help them, including Climate Just, the Northamptonshire Flood Toolkit example and other initiatives.  Cutting edge research relating to this agenda from Universities including the West of England, Birmingham and Westminster was also showcased.  And finally, we heard from Mary Dhonau, herself effected by the impacts of flooding, on what this experience is like and how it can be overcome, not least by adapting properties. The Conference also marked the launch of the new West Midlands Climate Resilience Network (WMCREN).  This network will keep the discussion around climate adaptation and severe weather resilience going beyond today.  SWM and the WMCREN Chair, Paul Fisher, gave an overview of the new Network and how delegates can remain involved. We would like to thank all speakers and all delegates for their participation and questions/discussion in the workshop sessions of the Conference.  All presentations can be found below.

Feedback from the Conference

100% of delegates who completed an evaluation form (29 in total) considered the Conference to be good to excellent in terms of it’s organisation and content, with two of the aims were also rated at 100% (the third at 97%). “Being new in my current role in the community resilience department within Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service, I did not know how community resilience and climate change would be linked, other than the obvious increase with flooding related incidents. I was very surprised to see a community resilience theme at the forefront of a climate change conference. I will be returning to Hampshire with a greater knowledge of how climate change and community resilience go hand in hand and work towards the ultimate goal of making safer communities, not just in Hampshire but nationally.” — Stuart Mangan, Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service. “Thanks for this event. I found it really useful, thought provoking, informative and am encouraged by the depth and breadth of action being taken.” “Excellent and knowledgeable speakers. Very helpful introduction to the subject area for me.”

Further Support and Contact Information

SWM provides support relating to community resilience programmes; click here for details.  For more information about this or CRCC2016, contact or call 0121 237 5890.


SWM Conference introHealthy and Resilient Communities: An introduction

 (Jim Hodgson, EA) Resilient Communities: The Climate Outreach approach (Jamie Clarke, Climate Outreach) Climate disadvantage: The JRF approach and climate justice (Katharine Knox, JRF) Climate disadvantage: The Climate Just tool (Rachel Walters, EA) Sustainable Flood Memories: The Centre for Floods, Communities and Resilience (Lindsey McEwen, UWE) Urban Heat: Community-led resilience to urban heatwaves (Kevin Burchell, UoW) Working with flood vulnerable communities (Paul Cobbing, NFF) SWM afternoon intro and WMCREN Launch The LRF perspective: Why is community resilience important to us? (Laura Edwards & Dean Hodges, Hampshire) The Flood Risk Management perspective: Why is community resilience important to us? (Hannah Burgess, SCC) The Northamptonshire Flood Toolkit (Josie Bateman, NCC) After The Floods project, lessons from Worcester (Stephen Emery & Stephen Brammer, UoB) Parkgate Flood Resilience Planning (Cllr. Martin Barker, Cheshire W&C) Please contact us if you wish to view Mary Dhonau’s slides

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