‘Community spirit’ praised during Chew Valley floods

Chew Valley North councillor Liz Richardson has praised the ‘community spirit’ shown during the recent floods in the area, but has said that lessons must be learnt by the authorities on how to deal with future flooding.

Councillor Richardson has been liaising with local Parish Councils to discuss the response to the floods and is calling for B&NES Council Officers and representatives of the Environment Agency to meet with residents and the Parish Councils in the coming weeks.  Chew Stoke Parish Council has already arranged for a special meeting to take place on 6 December, and is asking for specialist officers to attend to answer questions and provide information to residents.

Councillor Liz Richardson (Cons, Chew Valley North) said:

“There has been a fantastic community spirit during these floods, with neighbours helping one another and local residents ensuring that elderly were ok.

“Following the awful tragedy of a life being lost, and knowing that this is not the first vehicle to go afloat in this part of Chew Stoke, we need work all authorities to look at the area by the ford to establish how we can make it safer.

“I’ve spoken with our local Parish Councils and all the effected parishes will organise open meetings with representative bodies to explain what could be done to help relieve these dire floods and take preventative action for the future.

“I would like to commend the work of the street and gully cleaners, who have done a tremendous job – even working over the weekend, though I do think in future more clearing of gullies needs to take place between floods.”

Liz added that more clarity is needed form the Environment Agency on the role the reservoir can play in alleviating flooding.  She said:

“There is much confusion as to how the water levels in the reservoirs can be used to reduce the effect of the flood on the nearby villages – only in 2008 the EA commented that the reservoirs were useful for this purpose – now they seem to imply this is not a factor used in the flood defences. It’s not clear why they seem to have altered their view on this, so this is another issue that must be addressed publically by the Environment Agency.”