Dr Rhoda Ballinger Welcomes Vice-Chair

Dr Rhoda Ballinger Welcomes Simon Bunn as the Vice-Chair of the Partnership

As Chair of the Severn Estuary Partnership, I’m delighted to announce that Simon Bunn from North Somerset Council has become our first SEP Vice-Chair. Taking on this new role for the next three years, Simon will be a key contact and representative for SEP on the English side of the estuary, championing SEP and and acting as a spokesperson at external meetings, as appropriate. With Simon’s wealth of experience and knowledge of the estuary and related matters, he will contribute so much to the Partnership in this role, as I’m sure you’ll all agree from reading his biography below. We look forward to working with Simon in his new position and wish him every success in this role” – Dr Rhoda Ballinger, SEP Chair

Simon is a civil and structural engineer by training and spent 20 years with consultants delivering multi million pound commercial and educational development across the UK and abroad. This also included the company acting as expert witnesses for maritime insurance companies and port refurbishment. He was appointed by Cambridge City Council as the first Sustainable Drainage Engineer in local government and worked in a multidisciplinary team on over a billion pounds worth of growth in the sub-region. He was an early proponent of this nature based approach to flood risk management. Elements of Simon’s work informed the development of the Flood and Water Management Act and he actively promoted the approach at national and international conferences, providing oral evidence at the Water All Party Parliamentary Group. He was a member of one of the first catchment partnerships and collaborated on delivering fish passes and other improvements on the River Cam. He was Honorary Engineer to Hobsons Conduit Trust Charity.

Simon Bunn, Vice-Chair of SEP

After moving to Somerset, Simon joined the Internal Drainage Board working on regulating the impacts of nationally significant infrastructure and representing the interests of the farming community. He currently leads a small Flood and Water Team at North Somerset Council (NSC), with an extensive range of work that includes statutory reservoir management, delivering natural flood management and property level flood resilience schemes. Currently he is running a series of projects to improve NSC owned Victorian sea walls, using a combination of modern and traditional techniques. He is heavily involved in development management within the district and provides expert evidence at planning appeal enquiries. He represents NSC on the Bristol Avon Catchment Partnership, is the current Chair of the Association of Severn Estuary Relevant Authorities and Vice Chair of the Severn Estuary Coastal Group. He is also an accomplished photographer and has had work exhibited at the RWA. He is a long distance walker and is never long without a sandy boot.

Simon says, ‘I am delighted to be vice chair of the Severn Estuary Partnership, living and working on the Estuary. I’m fascinated and motivated by the unique specialness of the natural, cultural and historic nature of the estuary. I am committed to finding ways in which the community, wildlife and industry can successfully coexist both now and in the future in this sometimes challenging but beautiful environment. I hope to be able to play a small part in continuing the important work of SEP especially at a time when the estuary is under many pressures, including the profound changes that rising sea levels will bring.’

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