CDC is "leading light" in floods

First published in News Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author by

COTSWOLD flooding chiefs have been recognised as a national "spear-head" for their work in the aftermath of the flooding.

Leader of Cotswold District Council Lynden Stowe praised the work of officers and members who dealt with the devastation across the district last July.

He told the cabinet: "The message I am getting is that we are light-years ahead of some of the other districts and boroughs affected by the floods.

"We are the only authority to actually publish a full report detailing specific proposals and priorities."

CDC's status as the leader amongst other UK authorities in flooding was reinforced when the news came to cabinet that it had been given another £330,000 in flood money by the government.

Regular flooding updates have been brought to cabinet since the disaster and the council commissioned Hyder Consultancy to review why the flooding happened and the best course of future action.

"We have to accept that we cannot wave a magic wand and get this done within six months. We are in this for the long haul."

Cllr Clive Bennett

From the Hyder reports CDC recognised the top 20 areas in the district affected by flooding, Moreton-in-Marsh was number one.

These 20 areas will be where the majority of work is focused and then CDC will turn its attention on the 59 other areas affected.

Cllr Stowe said the difficulty with completing some flooding projects is reliance on Environment Agency funding which can take time to come through.

The EA is still seeking funding for flood mitigation work in Fairford and other projects across the district may take up to five years to complete.

CDC has agreed to fund another engineer post to help carry out the work programme.

Cllr Clive Bennett said: "When you think there are still 500 homes in Gloucestershire inhabitable that gives an indication of just how terrible the events of that weekend were.

"We have to accept that we cannot wave a magic wand and get this done within six months. We are in this for the long haul. It is better to get this right than go through the problems of last July again."

CDC's flooding officer Andy Fotherby said in three or four weeks the council will have a clear work programme so communities can see what is happening in their area.

Moreton resident, Robert Dutton, was at the cabinet meeting and has campaigned tirelessly since July to protect the town from another disaster by lobbying CDC and other authorities.

He said: "The attitude was very different from when I turned up last year. I don't think they had any inkling of the scale of the problem when it first happened.

"But the message is CDC is doing its utmost to help the town."

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