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Merseyside Flood & Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) Partnership

The Merseyside FCERM Partnership works closely with the St Helens and Halton Councils who sit within the Cheshire Mid-Mersey FCERM Partnership in matters relating to the Liverpool City Region (LCR) Combined Authority. Warrington and West Lancashire Councils are also Associate Members of the Combined Authority. The aim of the LCR is to increase growth to the local economy and to attract more residents and businesses to live, work, visit or invest in the region. Click here for further information.

The Merseyside FCERM Partnership is a collective grouping of the main authorities who manage flood risk and coastal erosion in Merseyside; that is Knowsley, Liverpool City, Sefton, and Wirral Councils who lead on local flood risk management, the Environment Agency and United Utilities as the water and sewerage company.

The Mersey Rivers Trust is also a partner organisation and provides local expertise on helping us to improve our rivers and waterways.

Click here to see our interactive map and search for schemes, groups and events going on in your area.

To view the Environment Agency’s five year flood and coastal risk management asset maintenance programme, click here. For more details on the programme, click here.


Flood Risks in Merseyside

Table 1: Flood Risks in Merseyside

Properties at Surface Water Flood Risk Properties at River and Sea Flood Risk
Local Authority Area Total Properties Total Properties at Flood Risk Low 0.1% chance Medium 1% chance High 3.33% chance Low 0.1% chance Medium 1% chance High 3.33% chance
Knowsley 79,729 8,096 5,915 1,196 306 96 453 130
Liverpool* 286,108 28,856 22,805 3,556 846 1,364 65 220
Sefton* 162,105 81,321 43,860 21,790 12,465 3,076 89 41
Wirral 183,691 18,619 13,550 2,898 987 853 322 9
Merseyside Total 711,633 136,892 86,130 29,440 14,604 5,389 929 400

Data Sources:

  • Surface Water: North West Surface Water Property Count Dataset based on National Receptor Database 2011 [July 2019]
  • Rivers and Sea: NaFRA Risk of Flooding from Rivers and Sea [March 2018]


  • ‘Properties’ includes both residential and non-residential property.
  • *Liverpool City Council and Sefton Council have benefited from additional local modelling of surface water flood risk, often with support from United Utilities and the Environment Agency. Outputs from that work are not shown in Table 1 (Source: North West Flood Risk Management Plan [2015])


Located on the coast at the lower reaches of the Alt-Crossens and Lower Mersey river catchments, the Merseyside Partnership spans an area of 249 square miles (645 km2) bordering Lancashire to the north, Greater Manchester to the east, Cheshire to the south and south-west, and the Irish Sea to the west.

A mix of high density urban areas, suburbs, semi-rural and rural locations makes for a varied use of land, but overwhelmingly Merseyside is urban. It has a focused central business district formed by Liverpool City Centre, and the Liverpool Urban Area is the fifth most populous conurbation in England.

As a result of its urban nature Merseyside has a high surface water flood risk relative to other areas in the North West, whilst the risk from rivers and the sea is comparatively low.

Table 1 puts the number of people at risk of flooding in the context of the size of the Local Authority’s population.

Further information on flood and coastal erosion risks in your local area can be found:

  • on the Environment Agency’s website
  • on your Council’s website (below) within their:
    • Local Flood Risk Management Strategy
    • Strategic Flood Risk Assessment
    • Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment
    • Any published Section 19 Flood Investigation Reports

Knowsley Council – Flood Risk Management

Liverpool City Council – Local flood risk management and drainage

Sefton Council – Drainage, Coastal Erosion and Flood Prevention

Wirral Council – Flooding


The Partnerships meet quarterly at two different levels of Group:

Strategic Partnership Group

These meetings are chaired by a Local Authority Councillor and steer and oversee the strategic direction of flood and coastal erosion risk management in Merseyside by:

  1. Ensuring that the needs of the North West RFCC and that the representations of the Environment Agency and DEFRA are disseminated and understood at the Merseyside sub-regional level;
  2. Enabling open discussion and ensure fair and strong representation of the Merseyside FCERM Partnership on the North West RFCC;
  3. Voting annually on changes to Local Levy raised by the North West RFCC
  4. Endorsing and co-ordinating funding bids for the Merseyside partners.
  5. Applying the North West RFCC’s objectives locally and setting local priorities and overseeing the progress of their delivery.

The Chair and Deputy Chair of the Partnership are appointed for a two year term, with the current term running until June 2020.

Chair: Councillor Patrick McKinley (Sefton Council)

Deputy Chair: Councillor James Noakes (Liverpool City Council)

Other Councillors who sit on the Partnerships are:

  • Councillor Anita Leech (Wirral Council)
  • Councillor Shelley Powell (Knowsley Council)

Two Councillors attend the North West RFCC to represent the Merseyside FCERM Partnership on a rotational basis.

Tactical Officer Group

These meetings are chaired by a Local Authority officer and are attended by technical and operational lead officers from all partner organisations.

This group addresses priority flooding incidents, co-ordinate delivery, share skills and establish priorities and actions to facilitate joint working. The group manages the delivery of flood risk management priorities and working initiatives as directed by the Strategic Partnership Group.

Chair: Kevin McKeown (Knowsley Council)

Deputy Chair: Paul Wisse (Sefton Council)


Working with the Liverpool City Region (LCR)

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is led by Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham and brings together Liverpool City Region’s six local authorities – Halton, Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral – to work together to make investments in areas such as transport, employment, culture, digital and housing.

The aim of the Liverpool City Region is to increase growth to the local economy and to attract more residents and businesses to live, work, visit or invest in the region through the use of its devolved powers.

Further information can be found on the website –

The Merseyside FCERM Partnership also works closely with the St Helens Council and Halton Council who sit within the Cheshire Mid-Mersey FCERM Partnership in matters relating to the Liverpool City Region (LCR) Combined Authority. Warrington Council and West Lancashire Council are Associate Members of the Combined Authority.

2019 Year of the Environment

In 2018, the Government launched its 25 year plan for the environment, pledging that we would be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it. As part of the plan, 2019 was declared as a national Year of Green Action across the UK.

The Liverpool City Region’s Local Nature Partnership, Nature Connected, is taking the initiative, along with the Combined Authority, the Environment Agency and Natural England, to help deliver a Liverpool City Region focused Year of Action for the Environment, working with a broad range of partners from different sectors across the City Region. Click here to visit the website.

In the context of rising concern and regard for the environment, we are all committed to work together to ensure that 2019 will be a year of green action across Liverpool City Region where people from all backgrounds will have the opportunity to be involved in projects that improve the natural world. Our aim is to leave a better environment for the next generation to inherit and make our area one of the best places in the country to live, work and flourish.


The information above has been provided by the Merseyside Flood & Coastal Erosion Risk Management Partnership. Last updated: July 2019


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