Cotswold DC Publishes First Phase Of Flood Review

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Cotswold DC Publishes First Phase Of Flood Review

The 20 Cotswold towns and villages most affected by the 2007 floods have been identified in the first phase of the District Council's review of last summer's events.

The Council appointed Hyder Consulting to produce the initial report, which has drawn on all the information gathered by the authority and other organisations since the floods that followed torrential rainfall on July 20th.

Around 1,150 properties in 79 towns and villages across the District's 450 square miles were affected.

The report, to be presented to the Council's Cabinet today (Thursday, February 21st) will be followed by a second, more detailed document which will prioritise the key sites needing improvement to land drainage, with outline costs.

The consultants' work is being funded by part of the £665,000 Flood Recovery Grant awarded to the District Council by the Government.
After reviewing all the data collected by the Council, water authorities, the Environment Agency and Gloucestershire County Council, Hyder has named the following 20 settlements as the most affected by the floods:

Moreton-in-Marsh; Chipping Campden; Bourton-on-the-Water; Lechlade; Fairford; Willersey; Whelford;, the Watermoor area of Cirencester; Naunton; Poulton; Lower Slaughter; Andoversford; Barnsley; Northleach; Southrop; Weston-sub-Edge; Eastleach; Aldsworth; the Chesterton area of Cirencester; Bledington.

For each of these communities, the report contains a map detailing the type of flooding suffered – which ranged from flash flooding, surface and/or river water to sewer flooding and groundwater.

In the next phase of the review, due to be published by the end of May, Hyder will look at the 20 settlements in more detail, holding site inspections with Town/Parish council representatives and further discussions with the District and County Councils and the Environment Agency.
This research will identify and prioritise which sites should be first in line for repairs and improvements to land drainage. When drawing up the list, Hyder will take into account the risk and frequency of flooding, the number of homes affected and the cost of remedial action.
The consultants will also look further at the remaining 59 locations.

Portfolio holder for Safe & Strong Communities Cllr Clive Bennett said: “This is a very good initial report which paints a clear picture of the events of July, showing that the North of the District was particularly badly hit.
“These floods were different in type and scale from recent severe floods, with a much higher proportion of the flooding than normal coming from surface water rather than rivers. It is important to recognise that this type of event generally occurs only once in 150 years and hopefully many of the property owners hit in July will not experience this disruption again.
“The task now, however, is to investigate the 20 areas more thoroughly and make recommendations to the relevant authorities or landowners on the actions that should be taken to improve land drainage.
“We need to be sure we are targeting the areas most at risk while making the best use of the recovery grant.”

Cllr Bennett added that the District Council was not working in isolation. He said: “All the authorities are working together where we can.
“Gloucestershire County Council has already undertaken maintenance work at 70 locations across the District to help reduce the risk of flooding.
“But at least 80 per cent of the responsibility for clearing ditches rests with the riparian owners and we will be working hard to raise awareness of this issue.”

Cotswold District Council is to appoint a second engineer to help identify and work on land drainage issues in the wake of the floods.

Posted : 21/02/2008 19:07:42

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