14th November 2012
AXMINSTER: Flood committee will work to prevent repeat flooding
By Anders Larsson
The South West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee says it will spend the next couple of months analysing information and carry out more detailed surveys to try to prevent a repeat of this summer’s floods.
Established by the Environment Agency and made up of members from a mix of organisations, the committee met in Axminster Guildhall on Thursday, October 18th.
Before the formal meeting, the almost 30-strong committee toured areas of the town affected by recent flooding.
A report named Devon Summer Floods 2012 was part of the agenda, including a summary of what happened and the way forward.
Members of the public are normally allowed to attend the committee’s meetings, but not to speak. Chairman James Morrish (DEFRA) threw out the rulebook, though, and allocated time for a public forum.
Two flood-hit Weycroft residents told the committee how their home insurance had gone from £800 a year to £1,500 in one leap despite them not having made a claim.
Committee members sympathised and said the problem is a national one. There was no quick fix, but committee members promised to lobby the government and the insurance industry on homeowners’ behalf.
The Devon Summer Floods 2012 report provided an update, which said: “We have worked closely with Devon County Council, who is the lead local flood authority, to support them at flood surgeries in some of the worst affected communities.
“This is helping us to develop a close working relationship and promote a multi-agency response.
“Over the next couple of months we will be collating and analysing the information we have received and carrying out more detailed surveys of the river systems affected, including third party assets.
“Our analysis will allow us to identify options that may improve the resilience of communities affected by the July floods. We will also be working to repair any of the damaged assets.
“Throughout this period we will ensure that communities are kept informed on progress, likely timescales and what we will be doing.” It was pointed out that members of the public can help minimise the risk of flooding by not throwing waste and debris into waterways.
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