Graham set up the River Hull Advisory Board, which developed a strategy for the management and maintenance of the River Hull. The board included representatives from The National Farmers Union, The Environment Agency, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Natural England, The Internal Drainage Boards, Yorkshire Water and the local community.
Graham is also working with MPs from across the Humber region to secure additional funding to help protect local residents from the devastating effects of flooding and tidal surges. Along with 12 local authorities around the Humber, the Humber LEP and the Environment Agency; Graham helped ensure the creation of the Humber Flood Risk Management Strategy in 2008 – which can be found here.
The £45 million River Hull Integrated Catchment Strategy was adopted in summer 2015. The adoption of the strategy was reported here.
As well as implementing a strategic approach to managing the risk of flooding, the strategy has resulted in over £150 million of investment into flood defences. Because the risk of flooding can never be entirely removed, Graham continues to work with the Humber 2100+ partnership to better protect the tens of thousands of properties in the area that are at risk.
Humber 2100+ is currently putting in place plans to protect the area over the next century and will be running consultations on how best to shape this over the coming months and years so that it works in the best interests of local businesses and residents.
This follows on from the work during Graham’s chairmanship of The River Hull Board. The RHB brought together experts and local politicians on a cross-party basis to oversee the delivery of the River Hull Integrated Catchment Strategy. Key aspects of the programme included removing sunken vessels to improve water flow, raising the river banks at key points and upgrading a number of pumping stations. The biggest project involved modifying the use of the Tidal Barrier in Hull. Graham chaired the River Hull Board until autumn 2016, when it disbanded.
However, following further flooding in November 2019 and into early 2020, and continued concern from locals over the condition of the River Hull, and surrounding drains and pumping stations, Graham instigated the re-creation of the Board, which will once again bring together important bodies and flood experts.