The Association of Drainage Authorities (ADA) has appointed Robert Caudwell from Friskney, Lincolnshire as its Vice Chairman following an open application process. Three shortlisted candidates held interviews on Monday 11 April 2016 at the offices of the Middle Level Commissioners in March, Cambridgeshire.
Speaking after his appointment Robert said: “I am delighted to be joining ADA at this important time and looking forward to working with the ADA team, our members and wider partners. I am very keen to visit as many members “
ADA’s Chairman, Henry Cator OBE said: “Robert brings a wealth of practical knowledge and contacts throughout the water and flood management industry. Robert will be a strong advocate for the need to maintain our water level management assets and watercourses. I am delighted that he has joined our team at ADA and have every confidence that he will be a strong leader for the future.
“The challenges resulting from our changing weather patterns have the ability to test our most robust systems. Resilience is going to play an increasingly important part in how we work in partnership with others to manage and defend our lowland environment.”
About the role
ADA’s Vice Chairman acts as an ambassador for the Association, promoting the importance of water level management and expanding public interest in the field. Robert will be working closely with ADA’s Chief Executive, Innes Thomson, Chairman, Henry Cator OBE and ADA’s Board on policy development and decision making over the coming year and a half. He will attend Board and Committee meetings, the Annual ADA Conference, FLOODEX 2016, and a variety of ADA Branch meetings, tours of inspection and stakeholder engagements for the Association. It is anticipated that as the succeeding Vice Chairman Robert will step up to become ADA’s Chairman at ADA’s Annual Conference in November 2017.
Robert is a farmer from Lincolnshire who grows a mixture of arable and horticultural crops on 350ha of land in the Witham Fourth Internal Drainage District north of Boston. Robert was Chair of the Anglian (Northern) RFCC from July 2005 until June 2015. He has held Chair, Board and non-executive positions with a number of public sector organisations. He has also been an active member of the National Farmers’ Union, as an NFU Council Delegate and held a number of senior positions including Chair of their National Audit Committee. Since November 2015 Robert has been a Council Member of the National Trust.
ADA represents drainage, water and flood management authorities in the United Kingdom, with over 230 member organisations and around 4,000 people working across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Our members include Internal Drainage Boards, the Environment Agency, Regional Flood and Coastal Committees, Natural Resources Wales, the Rivers Agency Northern Ireland, Local Authorities, and suppliers to the sector.
ADA’s Chief Executive, Innes Thomson said: “From working with Government and its agencies, to playing an important role in flood risk management, our influential work is wide-ranging and ever-changing. Now is an exciting time for us, as we look to broaden our role across the country by promoting the importance of water level management to our environment, the UK economy, and supporting the interest of drainage authorities at national and parliamentary levels.”
Innes Thomson will appear before the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee on Wednesday 27 April 2016 as part of the Committee’s Future Flood Prevention inquiry. You can read ADA’s written evidence to the Committee here.