ADA publishes guide to Good Governance for Internal Drainage Board Members

ADA publishes guide to Good Governance for Internal Drainage Board Members

ADA is pleased to announce the publication of Good Governance for Internal Drainage Board Members at ADA’s 81st Annual Conference, in Westminster on Wednesday 14 November 2018. For the first time, Internal Drainage Board (IDB) Members have an authoritative and comprehensive guide to their role and functions as democratic water managers serving their local community, economy and landscape. This will be supported by a series of five training events starting in March 2019.


What is an IDB?

Each IDB is a public body made up of local representatives (Board Members) with collective responsibility for managing water levels in an area, known as an internal drainage district. These districts cover approximately a tenth of England’s land area, and you can find out where they are here. IDBs undertake works to reduce flood risk to people and property, and manage water levels for agricultural and environmental needs within their district.


About the new Guide

With the financial support of the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), this new guide will enable current and prospective IDB members to understand the value and importance of getting involved with their local IDB. It will provide them with expert knowledge, helping to expand their grasp of the role, and how best to execute their responsibilities as an active and interested Board Member.

It follows very similar principles to guidance offered to local authority councillors. ADA intends for the guide to offer operational common-ground with other local authorities, facilitating even closer collaboration between elected and appointed members of IDBs, and other public authorities.

Many of these principles in the guide are good, common sense and it has been written to serve as a practical ready-reference to help Board Members and their officers to do the right thing.

As well as being informative and providing general background and sources of information, it gives answers to a variety of frequently asked questions. It is laid out in a series of well-structured and cross-referenced chapters, covering the essential subjects of: roles and responsibilities, governance, delivery, funding and financial management, transparency and accountability, and the management of risks and hazards.

Download the guide

IDB Good Governance Workshops 2019

In March and April 2019, ADA will be building on this informative Guide by running a series of five Good Governance Workshops aimed at IDB Members. We look forward to seeing a broad range of IDB members at these free training events, and hope that they will expand their knowledge as accountable local water managers. The workshops will take place at venues across England at:

  • Marriott’s Warehouse, King’s Lynn (19 March),
  • Doncaster Knights Rugby Football Club, Doncaster (20 March),
  • The Gables Hotel, near Gloucester (26 March),
  • Deafblind UK Conference Centre, Peterborough (28 March), and the
  • CIWEM Venue, Farringdon London (3 April).

IDBs and their members can find out further details about these workshops, and book their places via the link below.

IDB Governance Workshops booking

Launching the Guide

ADA’s Chairman, Robert Caudwell said: “IDBs remain a cornerstone of the democratic governance of water in England today. IDBs need active, interested and committed people with local and relevant knowledge to serve and get involved in their work. This guide will help them to expand their knowledge and build their confidence in their role as Board Members. Through good governance they can make a positive difference for their local community and water landscape, as well as engaging with others in a positive and proactive way.”

Innes Thomson, ADA’s Chief Executive, said: “ADA is very proud of the way in which the water management community has collectively encouraged and supported the creation of this guide. I hope that it increases the recognition for the essential and valued public service freely given by IDB Members.

“My special thanks go to the authors and editors for their hard work in bringing such an excellent document together. It is designed to be an accessible reference guide that I know all IDB Members will value, and I look forward to seeing many of them at next year’s training events.”