Working in partnership to combat flooding

Posted on: Monday, February 26, 2024

On Friday 23 February, Newark and Sherwood District Council hosted its first inter-agency meeting to look at what it can do to tackle the severe flooding local communities have endured.

Yet again with the rain we received last week, there were near misses in some areas and other areas where our officers had to deliver aqua sacs and make visits to our most vulnerable communities.  In addition, we did see a number of road closures and some of these regularly have to be closed when we experience heavy rain.

Councillor Paul Peacock, Leader of Newark and Sherwood, explains: “Some of our residents are living in fear of what the next weather report is going to say.  Some have just recovered from having their homes feet deep in water, and they just never know what is around the corner.  Even last week again, there were some flood warnings issued in our district.  It cannot carry on and we are committed to doing all we can to tackle this issue.

“Last week, we held our first inter-agency meeting, bringing together all the organisations who have responsibilities to support with flooding.  This includes the Canal River Trust, the Environment Agency, and Nottinghamshire County Council.  The purpose of the meeting was to draw everyone together and get all the flooding issues in Newark and Sherwood out on the table and come up with plans as to how we can mitigate this in the future.

“We will be pressing this issue forward to look at flood alleviation plans for Newark and Sherwood.  This should capitalise on the benefits of finding natural solutions, including restoring wetlands and floodplains, tree planting schemes, the creation of reed beds, and others.

“Flood alleviation is the responsibility of Central Government, Environment Agency, Nottinghamshire County Council (Flood Authority), Seven Trent Water and the Internal Drainage Boards. Other local Authorities the length of the River Trent also have a key role to play.  And we will step into the space to coordinate, and push through, a response that will look to support our communities affected by flooding.”

Councillor Paul Taylor, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection and Community Relations chaired last week’s meeting and said: “I want to reassure residents that we are not returning to business as usual.  We do not accept the level of pain and suffering so many of our residents across Newark and Sherwood have been through. Our thinking and future actions need to show an understanding that some degree of adaptation needs to be considered in relation to the impacts of Climate Change.

“Our communities would have suffered even more had it not been for the efforts of our partners, volunteers and neighbours helping one another, along with our many community groups. As a District Council, we held a debrief session with these fantastic groups to learn the lessons from their perspective and we will continue to learn lessons as we further engage with our communities.

“We are committed to this.  We won’t just stand by.  We will keep pushing.  This will cost money, but we will do all we can to ensure the Government supports us in delivering this. Ultimately, we will need Government support in order to implement any flood alleviation plan. We need the Government to take notice and we’ll continue to keep pressing on this to the benefit of our communities who are so adversely affected by flooding.”