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Flooding Prevention Versus Finance – “The Winner is………….”

December 21, 2013 by  

head_in_the_sandOn the 17th December Rochford District Council formally adopted the revised budgetary estimates for 2013/2014.

We noted that the provision of £10,000 for Sewers and Ditch clearance, which presumably if spent may have eliminated or prevented some of the flooding experienced by residents in August, has been reduced to NIL!  Only £595 was spent in the previous financial year which makes us wonder why the budget was hiked so high and then not used.

Yet when the rains came on the 24th August the advice given by the Leader of the Council on TV  was for residents to go out and buy sand bags.  In our view the money budgeted could have been either used as proposed, used for sand bags or not put into the budget at all.

Whilst we prefer that Riparian Owners keep the land adjoining watercourses that they are responsible for clear of debris and the watercourse free flowing we accept that many Riparian Owners do not have the financial or physical means to achieve this which is why, in Hawkwell West,  we arranged for the Community at large to assist affected residents last month.  As Ward Councillors John and I led this very successful and rewarding couple of days and not only achieved the aim of clearing vegetation and other debris but also helped forge Community bonds.

We are curious as to the future intentions of the Rochford District Council.

Has the Council removed this Budget item only to reinstate it later or will other District Councillors follow our example and help the residents in their Wards themselves by organising flood prevention work?

Read the answer from the Leader of Rochford District Council, Councillor Cutmore (also an Essex County Councillor where ECC does have responsibility for flood prevention).

Flood victims’ anger

Flood victims’ anger at council bigwigs

Echo Wednesday January 1, 2014

We sent a Report on Hawkwell West Flood Risk to the new Chief Executive, Amar Dave, on 8 December pointing out that work needed to be done on Council land adjoining Clements Hall Leisure Centre. This is in Flood Zone 3 and is upstream of the areas that flooded in August . On 17 December, the Council cancelled a £10,000 Budget which Councillor Cutmore states is for ““The budget for sewers and ditch clearance was specifically set aside for those on Rochford District Council land that we have responsibility for.” We are now asking if this work will be done or not?

Councillor Cutmore also told the Echo “As a local authority, we are also looking ahead to see what else we can do in the future to help residents in situations like this and we are currently working on an improved flood plan.”

But……………………

The Environment Agency says on its Web Site “Local authorities have powers to manage local flood risk only if they are lead local flood authorities under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. These include county councils and unitary authorities, but do not include district councils.

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