River Severn Partnership wins national award

The River Severn Partnership has been recognised for its exceptional work with an award at the LGC (Local Government Chronicle) Awards 2024.

 The RSP won the public/public partnership category, which recognises organisations for demonstrating an innovative approach to service improvements, efficiency, and adding significant value to local communities. The LGC said entrants this year demonstrated outstanding practice as well as cutting-edge innovations, and the judges were very impressed with the extremely high standard.

Mark Barrow, co-chair of the RSP, said: “We are delighted the judges recognised the partnership for what it is, an excellent example of cross border, multi-agency working.

“Since its inception the partnership, co-chaired by the Environment Agency and Shropshire Council,  has been successful in attracting funding and is on course to make the Severn Catchment Britain’s most vibrant and resilient river network; where an exceptional quality of life, prosperous local economies and an outstanding natural environment is driven by a programme of innovation to reduce flood risk, secure future water resources and improve and deliver shared natural assets.

“Working with one of our key long-term partners, ARUP – a global firm of specialists in environment, nature and water solutions who have brought their cutting-edge thinking for sustainable, climate-adaptive solutions, we benefit from their extensive range of relevant project experience to support the partnership in understanding and building resilience to flood risk, secure water resources, improving our shared natural assets and providing value to people and places.

“We are also fortunate to be drawing on the expertise of UK Infrastructure Bank who are supporting us in developing innovative delivery approaches and strategic scale infrastructure projects to achieve our project goals.”

The River Severn Partnership is a multi-sector, cross-border collaboration designed to build resilience and prosperity for the 2.6 million people living within the Severn Catchment. Described by the Environment Agency as “an outstanding partnership,” it’s uniting partners across the Severn Catchment in England and Wales around an integrated approach to resilience in areas blighted by flooding.

Partners include Gloucestershire County Council, Herefordshire County Council, Powys County Council, Shropshire Council, Telford & Wrekin Council, Warwickshire County Council and Worcestershire County Council, Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, Homes England, Severn Trent Water, National Farmers Union, four local enterprise partnerships, local nature partnerships, wildlife trusts, and academic institutions such as Birmingham City University.

The judges said:  “Congratulations to Shropshire Council, River Severn Partnership. An impressive and unique large-scale partnership that cuts across national, regional and local boundaries which will have huge impact for 2.6m residents.

“The partnership truly does demonstrate the power in coming together and delivering beyond the capabilities of one partner alone, even with the challenges of working across different governance models and partner priorities. Turning the issue of flooding and climate change around to become an opportunity, rather simply a challenge, is really impressive.”

Mark added: “On behalf of the partnership I would like to thank the judges for their professional consideration and the LGC for organising and delivering another successful awards ceremony this year.”