Two exceptional individuals from the Council’s Landscape, Design, and Conservation Team have been shortlisted for a prestigious national award, recognising their significant contributions in the realm of flood prevention and the mitigation of climate change impacts.

Dr. Saira Ali, Team Leader of the Landscape, Design, and Conservation division, and Andrew Mindham, a Gateway Officer and Landscape Architect, have both been nominated for the esteemed SUSDRAIN SuDS Champion Awards. These annual awards aim to acknowledge the excellence demonstrated by sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) and the individuals who inspire, inform, and influence good practices in this field.

SUSDRAIN serves as a professional community, providing valuable resources to those involved in implementing SuDS. These systems play a vital role in managing flood risks and maintaining water quality while simultaneously enhancing biodiversity, amenity, and a host of other benefits that contribute to the creation of vibrant and enjoyable living, working, and recreational spaces.

Especially crucial in urban areas lacking natural drainage pathways, SuDS can be developed through various means, such as installing ditches to divert water flow, constructing ponds, wetlands, or permeable paving.

Dr. Saira Ali, who previously won the “Raising Star” category at the 2021 SUSDRAIN SuDS Champion Awards, has now been shortlisted in the “Established Professional” category for this year’s ceremony. Her nomination has been put forward by Paul Shaffer, Director of Innovation and Delivery at the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management. Dr. Ali’s selection reflects her tireless efforts in advocating for SuDS and going above and beyond to deliver systems that foster greener, healthier, and more prosperous communities.

Andrew Mindham, nominated in the “Rising Star” category, was endorsed by Louise Page, Marketing Manager at GreenBlue Urban. Andrew has played an integral role in a range of SuDS schemes with Bradford Council over nearly four years, focusing on implementing innovative on-the-ground solutions that offer multiple benefits through blue and green infrastructure.

Working collaboratively in the Landscape, Design, and Conservation Team, Dr. Ali and Andrew have successfully introduced SuDS innovations into several projects. Notable examples include the Top of Town Public Realm Improvement Scheme, which incorporates nature-based solutions such as street trees and rain gardens to address SuDS requirements. Similarly, the North Street Keighley SuDS Scheme aids drainage while promoting biodiversity. The ongoing Great Horton Junction improvement scheme also embraces these principles. Additionally, the team is actively involved in the LIFE Critical project at Horton Park, part of the EU Life Programme aimed at supporting environmental, nature conservation, and climate action initiatives.

The Landscape, Design, and Conservation Team frequently seeks additional funding and resources to further its ambitions of innovating and implementing blue and green infrastructure projects to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Transport, and Planning, expressed his delight at the nominations, stating, “I am delighted that two of our officers have been nominated for these national awards. Saira and Andrew are truly passionate about their work and its potential for enhancing Bradford. This nomination showcases the exceptional and innovative efforts being undertaken to make our district more sustainable.”

The winners of the SUSDRAIN SuDS Champion Awards will be determined through a public vote, with the results set to be announced at a ceremony on July 13th. To support Saira and Andrew’s nominations, the public can cast their votes until June 30th by visiting the following link: