Your chance to have a say on future flood strategy
12:00am Thursday 9th January 2014 in By Mike Benke, @Michael_Benke
PEOPLE are being asked to give their views on how the town can deal with floods in the future.
The council, along with partner agencies, has put together the Local Flood Risk Manage-ment Strategy (LFRMS) and is now running an online consultation.
Currently in its draft stage, the plan identifies the key areas in the town at risk from excess flooding so residents can prepare.
Using data from previous floods it identifies the number of properties at risk from flooding in different areas of Swindon.
Although the stratgey was developed before the recent heavy rainfall, it highlighted that the main risks to Swindon are from land becoming saturated and the town’s network of waterways overflowing.
Within the North Swindon area, for example, more than two per cent of properties are at risk from flooding water networks, the highest threat within Swindon.
The main responsibility for managing the Rivers Ray and Cole, as well as providing flood warnings, will remain with the Environment Agency while Thames Water will still run the sewer system.
Coun Keith Williams (Con, Shaw), cabinet member for highways strategic transport and leisure, said: “Following a change in legislation several years ago it is now a requirement for local authorities to develop this strategy.
“We have worked with the Environment Agency and Thames Water to provide up to date maps and highlight where the main risks are.
“Previously many of the maps showing the risks were out of date, which meant there were a number of people who struggled to get insurance because they were wrongly designated to be in an area at risk.
“They are completely up to date now so people can contact the Environment Agency to get the information they need.”
An aim of the strategy is to help develop a better understanding of flood risks across Swindon and to encourage communities to take a degree of control.
“We have been in contact with the councils to discuss the strategy,” said Coun Williams. “With the new information residents can see were the main flood threat comes from and what they need to if the worst should happen.”
The public consultation runs until Monday, March 10. The full draft strategy, supporting information and a feedback form – which can be completed online or by post – is available at www.swindon.gov.uk/floodrisk
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