Just a few days prior to the floods on Sunday 27 May I met with the councils Flood Protection officers to discuss the (relatively smaller) flooding which took place over Easter weekend; these were mainly related to parts of Cheswick Green and I posted information and images on my website – https://cllrkenhawkins.co.uk/2018/04/04/flooding-issues-in-ward/ ).
The video shows some of the flood water in the balancing ponds off Rumbush Lane, Dickens Heath and indicate the seriousness of the floods. It was sent to me by a resident.
At that meeting I was informed of work undertaken in conjunction with the Environment Agency (EA) which revealed a heavy storm in an area such as Shirley/Hall Green would send storm water into the drains and onwards to the brooks/tributaries of the River Blythe, reaching Cheswick Green and Dickens Heath within 30 minutes. Little did we know this was to happen just five days later. It was also recognised that a number of balancing ponds, to collect excess water the size of swimming pools) were needed between Shirley and Cheswick Green/Dickens Heath to address potential issues. The need for these, and how quickly they will be developed, will be discussed in the Inquiry that has been launched by the Councils CEO, Nick Page.
Under Section 19, Flood and Water Management Act 2010 ( see link for full Act – https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/29/contents ) a Local Authority:
- On becoming aware of a flood in its area, a lead local flood authority must, to the extent that it considers it necessary or appropriate, investigate—(a) which risk management authorities have relevant flood risk management functions, and(b) whether each of those risk management authorities has exercised, or is proposing to exercise, those functions in response to the flood.
- Where an authority carries out an investigation under subsection (1) it must—
(a) publish the results of its investigation, and
(b) notify any relevant risk management authorities
I will ascertain exactly how residents can engage with the Inquiry, further to any submission of what was damaged through flooding etc. It is vital we get the exact cause of the flooding (more than it was an exceptional storm) and what needs to be done to prevent flooding from similar (even lesser) storms, or continuous rainfall, as we saw at Easter.
Please do not hesitate to comment.I will update this website as and when I receive further information. I will also cross reference it on the local Facebook groups in the ward.
Update following last nights Full Council meeting (10 July):
The review has already commenced and the investigation will include detailed modelling work. Officers will work in conjunction with the EA and Severn Trent and the work will be complex, with many detailed questions to be answered.
The Initial Findings are expected by the ebgining of October with the Full Report expected soon afterwards.