Paul Taylor to present motion calling for flood authorities to form joint alleviation plan and lobby government for support at full council meeting of Newark and Sherwood District Council
A call is to be made for councils to come together to prevent future severe floods, following the devastation of Storm Henk.
At the next full council meeting of Newark and Sherwood District Council, on Tuesday (February 13) Paul Taylor will move a motion, seconded by Emma Oldham, to bring together authorities and agencies responsible for flood alleviation across the Trent Valley to address the continued threat of flooding.
Mr Taylor’s motion follows the devastating flooding caused in January by Storm Henk, and previous severe flooding events in 2023, which it says has left residents “angry and concerned”.
Many homes and business continue to feel the affects of the storms, which led to road closures, burst river banks and in some cases entire communities being cut off.
The River Trent at Farndon peaked at 2.66metres, just less that its record height in 2000, and 200 houses were directly affected by floodwaters with over 100 properties evacuated.
Storm Henk was declared a major incident by Nottinghamshire and Nottingham Local Resilience Forum.
Mr Taylor’s motion said: “We cannot go back 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.”
Flood alleviation in Newark and Sherwood is the responsibility of central government, the Environment Agency, Nottinghamshire County Council, Seven Trent Water and Drainage Authorities, and councils along the Trent are key stakeholders and the motion includes a proposal for these authorities to jointly commission a River Trent Valley Flood Alleviation Plan.
Immediately following the flooding, in early January, Mr Taylor spoke to the Advertiser, outlining his and the council’s commitment to help protect communities from future flooding — and spoke of the council’s early talks with other Trent authorities to form a consortium, which he said had a “very good” reception.
The motion also highlights the need for government support for the plan to be put in place, and resolves that the council will “work tirelessly with those authorities with statutory responsibilities and other stakeholders” to ensure the creation of the plan, which will focus on natural solutions, including restoring wetlands and floodplains, tree planting, creation of reed beds, and dedicated dredging, and “lobby government for the resources to be made available to implement the plan as soon as possible”.
His motion is also set to pay tribute to the efforts of emergency services, council staff, and volunteers who worked hard to support communities during the floods.
Councillors will be invited to discuss and vote on the motion, which would commit the council to creating a plan and lobbying government, next week after it has been presented by Mr Taylor.