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Newark and Sherwood District Council, Canal River Trust, Environment Agency and Nottinghamshire County Council take part in first inter-agency flood alleviation meeting

A council has held its first inter-agency meeting to explore ways to tackle the severe flooding its communities have endured.

The meeting was hosted by Newark and Sherwood District Council on Friday, February 23, during a week where rainfall again saw officers out delivering aqua sacs to vulnerable communities and a number of road closures.

Paul Peacock, leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “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.”

Flooding has devastated the area during recent storms. Image: Newark and Sherwood District Council.
Flooding has devastated the area during recent storms. Image: Newark and Sherwood District Council.

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.”

The meeting was held following a motion put to full council by Mr Taylor, calling for the council to lead a multi-authority approach to preventing flooding.

It was supported unanimously by councillors at the meeting on February 13.

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