Jagjit started working at Warwickshire County Council (WCC) seven years ago as a Junior Drainage Engineer and is now leading the Flood Risk Management team.
Jagjit joined WCC at an exciting time when local authorities first became responsible for Flood Risk Management and he played a big part in shaping the initial strategy for Warwickshire.
Jagjit said: “I wanted to join WCC to make changes to the local environment, for the better. Flooding is a very difficult and stressful time for people to get through, so you are there to help people when they are most in need.” No two days are the same in the Flood Risk Management Team and the day-to-day responsibilities are extremely varied. Jagjit added: “As a team, we visit everyone who has reported internal flooding in their property, and our priority is making sure residents are safe and well. We ensure they are signposted to the relevant teams and services for anything they may need to help them. Once this has taken place, we can then look at investigating what can be done about the flooding. We also spend a lot of time informing and supporting residents so their properties are as flood resilient as possible and delivering sessions in school to children and young people, so they learn about the risks of flooding and how to stay safe.”
Before joining Warwickshire, Jagjit worked at other local authorities in Birmingham and Coventry. Flood risk became an evolving aspect of his job that he had great interest in, which also stemmed from his university dissertation on urban flooding. After several years at WCC, Jagjit progressed his career to lead the Flood Risk Management team and he now plays a lead role in emergency planning and recovery after a flood event. He also works closely with partners to ensure together, they are doing all they can to reduce future flood risk. The team has diverse responsibilities and collectively they also deliver schemes for those at highest risk of repeat internal property flooding, making them more resilient and helping residents plan for future flooding.
Jagjit has seen first-hand the impact of climate change on flooding in Warwickshire and is also playing a crucial role in ensuring that his team continue to manage flood risk effectively. Jagjit said: “Due to climate change, flooding is becoming more prevalent and lots of people aren’t aware that their properties might be at risk of flooding. It is my responsibility to ensure we react to climate change and adapt the way we work to manage future flood risk.” To support the fight against climate change, Jagjit’s team review all major planning applications and rank every square kilometre of Warwickshire based on its flood risk as part of an effort to prioritise the highest risk areas.
Talking about his career at WCC, Jagjit said: “I’m an example of someone who has been given the opportunity to explore and further my career, WCC has given me the chance to learn from experienced and knowledgeable people. I learnt on the job and gained the right experience to put me in the best position to progress my career, so I am very grateful for that.”
Jagjit added: “I really enjoy my role as the whole team is making a difference to the people of Warwickshire. Our team, and the whole of the council, prioritise the people and the communities it serves. We always work to the best practice standards which makes WCC a very rewarding place to work.”
Flood Risk Management is recruiting for a variety of roles and successful applicants will be joining at a critical time for the service. Jagjit added: “We will be looking at our local strategy in the near future, so people joining in the near future will get the opportunity to shape our policy and influence how we do things in Warwickshire.”
Jagjit is just one example of a WCC employee who is improving the county and making a meaningful difference to its people. The breadth of roles at WCC means you can shape your own career, whether that’s becoming the best at what you do, progressing with your strengths and ambition, or exploring interests in other areas with the Council.
If you are interested in joining the Flood Risk Management team, email [email protected] to arrange an informal discussion about upcoming vacancies. For further information about working for Warwickshire County Council, visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/jobs.
Advice and information about flooding in Warwickshire can be found at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/flooding.
The Warwickshire Surface Water Management Plan Thematic Map shows the flood risk in Warwickshire by kilometre, view the map by visiting maps.warwickshire.gov.uk/swmp/ here. This has been based on predicted and historic flood reports which can be viewed by visiting maps.warwickshire.gov.uk/historical-flooding/