A committee that specialises in deciding local flood priorities is looking for five new members.

The Environment Agency is looking for the members to join the North West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (RFCC) which will cover the major river catchments in the region, as well as the coast.

People with expertise in Agriculture and Land Management, Conservation and Natural Food Management, Communities, Business and Private Sector, and Planning and Development/ Regeneration are urged to find out about a role on the committee.

RFCCs are committees set up by the government to decide on local priorities, raise local levies and approve programmes of work. They also support the Environment Agency and local authorities in working with communities and others to identify and raise funding.

Councillor Derek Antrobus, Chairman of the North West RFCC, said: “We all know how seriously floods can affect individuals and communities. We have to be the best we can be at managing risks. Membership of the RFCC is one way citizens in the region can help us – through their expertise or ability to speak for communities at risk.”

The committee needs to have a balance of skills, knowledge and experience across its membership.

The government appoints the committee’s chair. Local authorities appoint 10 members who offer local democratic input and the Environment Agency recruits eight members for their specialist skills – five of these posts are currently vacant and these are the new members the Environment Agency is seeking to join the committee.

RFCCs play a vital part in the government’s partnership approach to flood funding where local authorities and communities are encouraged to financially contribute towards a flood scheme in their area.

The Committee builds on the work started by the former North West Regional Flood Defence Committee which, from 2009/10 to 2015/16, has delivered £ 278 million of schemes funded by capital grant in aid from the Government via Defra.

The Committee has also delivered schemes through a levy on local authorities. From 2009/10 to 2015/16 more than £19 million has been spent on innovative partnership projects that do not qualify for full grant-in-aid funding. Recently the local levy has contributed towards major flood work in Croston Village, Lancashire, the River Mersey at Warrington and the Rochdale Culvert Removal Scheme.

Committee members don’t receive a salary but expenses are paid. RFCCs meet four times a year with occasional sub-group work between official meetings.

The deadline for applications is Friday 5 May 2017, with a selection/ assessment event taking place during late May.

An application pack is available from NW-RFCC@environment-agency.gov.uk or by telephoning Rachel Harmer on 020302 50946.