Somerset Rivers Authority has funded a new community equipment store in Dunster, with kit to help fight flooding.
Gear which can now be used by Dunster’s new Flood Group includes portable sandbag fillers, sandbags, hi-viz jackets and shovels. The store is sited in the middle of Dunster.
The Community Resilience in Somerset Partnership (CRiSP) gave just over £3,000 from Somerset Rivers Authority (SRA) to Dunster Parish Council to support the Flood Group, which has five founding members.
Cllr John Osman, Chair of Somerset Rivers Authority, said: “Surface water is a problem in parts of Dunster during times of very heavy and prolonged rainfall, and when flooding has occurred it’s had a devastating impact on people, so I’m very pleased that the SRA and CRISP are backing Dunster Parish Council and the new Flood Group. The store and equipment that we’ve paid for will help Dunster’s volunteers protect villagers, visitors, homes and businesses.”
Doug Challoner (pictured top right), acting chairman of Dunster Parish Council and Flood Group member, said: “What it does is, it gives us the confidence that we’re ready, we can deal with problems in the future. It’s brilliant. If any issues occur, we’ll spring into action in ways that we’ve planned for and I am sure that people will be extremely pleased.”
Nicola Dawson (pictured top centre), Manager of the Somerset Local Authorities’ Civil Contingencies Unit, said: “It was great to meet Doug and his colleagues. They are very organised and enthusiastic, with a detailed emergency plan and a keen group of local volunteers. Dunster Parish Council is a great example of how local people can take action and work together to help keep their residents safe.”
Grants of SRA money are available to other communities throughout Somerset via CRISP. Where there is a need, grants can be used to buy things such as generators, headlamps, lighting, protective clothing, clean-up equipment, depth markers and dry sheds for storage, or to fund training for local volunteers.
For more information about CRISP, email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out www.somersetprepared.org.uk
IN THE PHOTO:
Action stations: Nicola Dawson of CRISP (centre) with Dunster Parish Council emergency group members (from left) Geoff Witherford, Alan Vicary, Alan Rigler and Doug Challoner, with their new store and some of their new equipment. The Flood Group’s fifth founding member Alan Blackham could not be present.