Residents at risk of flooding in the Cotswolds could soon be getting a helping hand from community flood wardens thanks to a new initiative from Cotswold District Council.
Cotswold District Council is launching a new flood warden scheme with the help of Gloucestershire Rural Community Council (GRCC). The scheme will involve recruiting and training volunteer flood wardens from across the district and provide information and advice to householders on flood precautions.
Cllr Andrew Doherty, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “It's great news that we are introducing the flood warden scheme here in the Cotswolds. We know the effects that floods in recent years have had on our communities and this scheme will help us to create a network of flood wardens from across the district with a wealth of local knowledge and experience.
“Flood wardens are volunteers trained to help and prepare people in local communities who are at risk of flooding and have been very successful in other areas of the county.
“This is a great opportunity for residents at the heart of their communities to provide a valuable link between emergency services, the Council and the authorities responsible for flooding to ensure all work better to prevent and respond to flooding.”
The Flood Warden programme will look to work closely with town and parish councils to recruit and train volunteers across the district, with those areas most prone to flooding targeted first for the scheme.
Flood Wardens act as the eyes and ears of the community. Whether they are out walking their dog, riding a horse or just walking to the shop they can keep an eye out for blocked drains and culverts, tree branches in rivers, and anything else that may cause a flood risk and act as a communication channel between the community and authorities. The Council will provide volunteer wardens with the tools and training necessary to get the job done.
In addition to being community flood watchers, flood wardens are trained to raise awareness of flooding with residents and promote ‘self-help’. The knowledge of local flood wardens is then used to support the preparation and review of Community Flood/Emergency Plans.
Cotswold District Council is working alongside GRCC to roll the initiative out in advance of the next winter season. Further details will be published on our website over the next few weeks.
Earlier in the year, over 100 residents attended the ‘flooding forum’ run by Cotswold District Council for residents affected by the flooding over the winter with the aim of surfacing issues with the responsible agencies and solving long-standing issues with flooding across the Cotswolds. The Council also wrote to Thames Water in an open letter to try and resolve some of the problems with sewage flooding in Cirencester.
For advice and guidance on flooding, please visit: cotswold.gov.uk/flooding