As Eckington and Fladbury bridges stay shut, Wychavon council plans to be centre of excellence to deal with flood havoc

UNDER WATER: Eckington was one of the areas to be hit by the latest flooding. Picture by Paul Jackson. 0713242908

UNDER WATER: Eckington was one of the areas to be hit by the latest flooding. Picture by Paul Jackson. 0713242908

First published in News
Last updated

CALLS are being made for Wychavon council bosses to launch a ‘centre of excellence’ to tackle the flooding chaos which has again hit Vale towns and villages.

Eckington Bridge and Jubilee Bridge in Fladbury both remained closed this week due to flooding, the latest in a series of disruptions over the winter, and the Environment Agency issued 28 flood warnings in the region this week, including Wyre Piddle and Bredon.

Councillor Charles Tucker, chairman of the National Flood Forum, wants the area to become a national beacon.

He has produced a list of ideas for the district council’s Conservative leadership, including: 􀁥 Brokering a ‘community insurance scheme’ for properties struggling to afford cover from conventional sources.

􀁥 Recruiting ‘flooding volunteers’ to knock on doors and offer practical help during crisis moments.

􀁥 Making bids for money from government, or other avenues, towards flooding alleviation schemes.

􀁥 Taking a lead role in monitoring the likes of Severn Trent and the Environment Agency to ensure their performances are up to scratch.

Coun Tucker’s report, due to be debated by the council on Tuesday, also calls for more efforts to clear ditches.

He wants the district council’s in-house engineers to be marketed to other councils with a view to potentially making it profitable.

Coun Tucker, a Liberal Democrat, said at least 30 homes in Wychavon have flooded recently, and it could worsen in future if climate predictions prove accurate.

The Conservatives have pledged to continue funding the engineering team, but say they are waiting for the Government to update the national ‘statement of principles’ on flooding before deciding what to do next.

Councillor Emma Stokes, cabinet member for environment and contracted services, said: “We are doing a lot in this area and will continue to do so. The engineering team do a great job and we’ve had the foresight to keep them.”

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