The former head of the British Army has stepped down from his role at the helm of a taskforce set up to protect homes and businesses from flooding.

And county councillors have said it is essential that the work which General the Lord Dannatt has done as head of the Norfolk Strategic Flood Alliance, continues following his departure.

The alliance, with Lord Dannatt as the independent chair, was set up by Norfolk County Council in the wake of flooding in parts of Norfolk, such as Long Stratton, during Christmas 2020.

Eastern Daily Press: Flooding in Long StrattonFlooding in Long Stratton (Image: Ella Wilkinson)

At a meeting of Norfolk County Council on Tuesday (January 24), councillors praised the work Lord Dannatt had done to bring together the numerous organisations with responsibilities to prevent flooding.

Eastern Daily Press: County councillor Alison ThomasCounty councillor Alison Thomas (Image: Norfolk Conservatives)

The motion to praise the work was tabled by Alison Thomas, Conservative county councillor for Long Stratton, whose own home was flooded during the 2020 floods.

She said Lord Dannatt had done a "huge amount of work" and communities had been helped by the task force's efforts.

She said: "We do not want to see Lord Dannatt's leaving his chairmanship be the end of this flood alliance. It is most essential that it continues."

Fellow Conservative councillor Brian Long said he had been a bit "sceptical" about the creation of the flood alliance but had been won over by Lord Dannatt's skill in bringing organisations together.

He said: "He has carried out the role with aplomb. As we approach the anniversary of the 1953 flooding, it's always been in the memory of people in Norfolk."

He said it was right that all organisations work together to keep people in the county safe.

Eastern Daily Press: General the Lord DannattGeneral the Lord Dannatt (Image: Archant Norfolk 2018)

In November, Lord Dannatt warned tackling flooding in Norfolk's most high-risk areas would cost £80m, but only a fraction of that money was available.

The motion to thank Lord Dannatt was backed by all 59 of the county councillors present at the meeting.

Lord Dannatt's successor as chairman of the task force is Henry Cator, a deputy lieutenant for Norfolk and president of the Association of Drainage Authorities.

Eastern Daily Press: Henry CatorHenry Cator (Image: Newsquest)