Districts around Somerset are to host meetings over the coming weeks to reassure communities and provide information on flooding as the winter approaches.
The meetings were agreed as a joint action by the District Councils and other partners of the 20 Year Flood Action Plan – with the first being held this Monday (November 24) by South Somerset District Council.
The meetings will all include information on:
•The Environment Agency’s Trigger Point documents which explain what, when and why operational decisions would be taken locally in extraordinary flood conditions
•An update on the work of the Flood Action Plan, set up at the Government’s request after the extreme floods last winter. This includes County Highways projects, the Environment Agency’s asset repairs (such as river banks and pumping stations) and dredging, community resilience and also the proposed Somerset Rivers Authority.
While the meetings will take the form of either presentations or drop-ins, all will have an opportunity for people to talk to those involved in the Flood Action Plan work as well as local councillors and council leaders.
District meetings will be held at the following:
South Somerset District Council meeting:
Monday 24 November 2014 at Huish Episcopi Academy 6th Form Auditorium, Wincanton Road, Langport TA10 9SS from 7pm – 9pm (arrivals from 6:30pm).
Sedgemoor District Council meeting :
Tuesday 9 December 2014 at the Sedgemoor Room, Bridgwater House, King Square, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 3AR from 6pm – 8pm.
Mendip District Council drop-in session:
Tuesday 16 December 2014, at Glastonbury Town Hall, 5pm – 7pm.
Taunton Deane Borough Council meeting:
Full details to be confirmed shortly on the Flood Action Plan website.
Councillor Ric Pallister, Leader of South Somerset District Council said: “A lot has happened since the disastrous events of last winter and much work is still going on. Whilst there is a continuous dialogue with individual households and communities directly affected by the flooding, this briefing is an opportunity for the broader community to understand what has changed, what flood prevention measures have been put in place and what will now be different should we experience similar conditions across South Somerset in the future.”
Cllr Harvey Siggs, Leader of Mendip District Council, said: “Mendip was extremely fortunate to avoid the worst of last winter’s floods, but we’re not complacent and there is nothing to say we’ll be as fortunate again this winter or in years to come.
“The aim of this drop-in session is to give reassurance to local people, answer questions people have, and to show that while flooding cannot be prevented, a lot of work is going on to reduce its frequency, duration and severity.”
Cllr Duncan McGinty,
Leader of Sedgemoor District Council, said: “The Environment Agency have put together an easy to understand presentation about how the Somerset Levels and Moors work and at which points things happen. We hope that as many people as possible will take the opportunity to attend the meeting in Bridgwater.”
Cllr John Williams, Leader of Taunton Deane Borough Council said: “A great deal of work has been done in the months since the devastating floods and we need to make sure our residents know what has been done, what remains to be done and to listen to their concerns. We need to provide reassurance that all possible is being done to mitigate any future flooding as regards its severity and duration. The actions taken so far in compliance with the 20 year Flood Action Plan are a great start but much more needs to be done if we are to offer any form of reassurance to those that suffered and were so badly afflicted in the recent flood events.”
Cllr John Osman, Chair of the Flood Action Plan Leaders Implementation Group and Leader of Somerset County Council, said: “We understand that people in the communities affected by last winter’s floods and elsewhere in the County will be anxious as this winter approaches. I hope these meetings can give them some reassurance – we cannot prevent flooding, but a great deal of work has been done by many organisations to reduce its likelihood, impact and duration and we are better prepared to respond should there be flooding this winter.”
For details about each district meeting, please visit the Councils’ website news pages or view the news releases at http://somersetnewsroom.com/flood-action-plan/partner-press-releases/