SRA End of Year Report 2016-17: Building Local Resilience – Workstream 5

A programme to provide inspiration, support, advice, information and practical help to communities, households, businesses, and landowners across Somerset to encourage and enable them to become more resilient.

Community plans

Achieved: The SRA’s Community Resilience Officer, and an Environment Agency colleague, worked very closely with communities on plans in West Yeo, Fordgate, Moorland, Burrowbridge, North Curry and Huntham.

They provided information, advice and support to help people develop their own community flood plans, for local areas and for individual households. The plans help people prepare for and respond to any future flooding.

More widely, a report has been produced on lessons learned from two years of engagement with communities and agencies.

Community resilience grants

Achieved: In other villages across Somerset where problems with flooding have spurred residents to take responsibility for themselves and others, by developing plans for action in emergencies, the SRA has supported people in making their communities more resilient. SRA money from the Dept. for Communities & Local Government (CLG) helped CRiSP (Community Resilience in Somerset Partnership) award grants to seven villages. These grants helped to buy equipment and stores, useful for implementing plans.

a) Supported by the SRA’s Community Resilience Officer and an Environment Agency colleague, villagers in Aller have produced a plan which includes arrangements for the local publican and a local farmer to store emergency equipment ready for use during floods. A CRiSP grant of £2,000 of SRA money was used to buy kit including sand, tools and protective clothing.

b) After Misterton was flooded by an extraordinary downpour in early 2016, a working party of five parishioners was set up and a community emergency plan drafted. A CRiSP grant of £3,696 of SRA money enabled villagers to buy an equipment store and kit including safety helmets, hi-viz jackets and boots, safety signage, and a supply of sandless sandbags.

c) After Williton flooded badly in late 2013, residents formed a resilience group. In 2016, CRiSP gave £300 of SRA money towards a better store for the group’s resilience kit.

d) CRiSP gave Dunster’s new Flood Group a grant of just over £3,000 of SRA money for equipment including portable sandbag fillers, sandbags, hi-viz jackets and shovels, and for a new community equipment store situated in the middle of the village. (Read more about the SRA’s grant to Dunster’s new Flood Group).

e) Exebridge residents are at risk of flooding from the River Exe. Brushford and Morebath Parish Councils identified measures that would help to protect local people. CRiSP gave £2,600 of SRA money towards a community resilience store and equipment, sited by permission of South West Water near the local pumping station.

f) Other places to get grants for equipment in support of community plans were Bicknoller – where the SRA also funded local flood risk management measures in 2015-16 – and Croscombe, which has suffered flooding from surface water and the River Sheppey.

CRiSP website

To enhance CRiSP’s online presence, the SRA’s Community Resilience Officer filmed a series of informative videos about flooding and community resilience in places such as Queen Camel and Aller. Being achieved: The SRA contributed to professional editing costs. Videos will appear on and be shared elsewhere.

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