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Parish Flood Defence Arrangements

Recent serious flooding in North of England and in Scotland has reminded us of the power of water to destroy homes and livelihoods. As we all know the River Creedy runs across the centre of the Parish. It is fed by several streams running down from the surrounding hills. Some of these streams run though areas of housing or very close to houses. Chief among these are the Smallbrook, the Shutternbrook and the Sweetham Brook. Normally these streams are small benign watercourses that add much to the attractiveness of the village and local countryside. However, as those who live close to these streams know, they can rapidly turn into torrents after prolonged and/or heavy rain. When this happens the streams has threatened homes and presented risk to life and limb particularly to the infirm and unwary. This includes pedestrians and motorists who try to drive though flood water. This is a particular risk when the Creedy overflows as it crosses Station Road.

In addition to the flooding threat from these watercourses persistent rain sometimes results in heavy run off of water from surrounding farmland that also contributes significantly to our difficulties.

Many will have clear memories of the autumn and winter of 2013/14 when parts of the parish were cut off for periods and a number of houses were either flooded or under serious threat of flooding.

Since that winter the Parish Council has responded to the concerns of residents and has reviewed local preparations and arrangements for flood defence. This is part of a local Contingency Planning initiative to ensure we have a local plans and arrangements to protect local people and to support emergency services whenever a critical incident occurs in the Parish.

The Parish now has an up to date Contingency Plan that sets out the key risks faced by the Parish from untoward incidents and details the arrangements that are in place to deal with them. A copy of this document is available either on the Parish website or from the Clerk to the Parish council.

As part of this Contingency Plan the Parish Council has established a local Flood Network. The network comprises local residents who have volunteered to work together to mitigate the risk of flooding in the Parish. The Flood Network has been meeting now for over a year. To date its work has involved:

  1. The funding and setting up of three Flood Stores at strategic points in the Parish adjacent to key flood risk areas. The stores contain a variety of equipment and supplies that will be of use in the eventuality of flooding. This includes a supply of Aquasacs and plastic sheeting. We have purchased Aquasacs in preference to sand bags as sand bags take too long to fill given that local watercourses rise fast (and need two strong people to fill them). The Stores also have a supply of road signs and road lights in each.
  2. Establishing a network of volunteer wardens in different parts of the Parish trained to liaise with emergency services and support neighbours when floods threaten. We now have a network of six wardens but definitely need more.
  3. A local tipping rain gauge that signals warnings electronically to Flood Network members if pre-set rainfall thresholds are breached. This is set up.
  4. Working with local homeowners and landowners to clear the banks of watercourses and obstructions and rubbish in the watercourses themselves. This has mostly been achieved but will need continuing vigilance
  5. Working with the local authorities to identify and reduce flood risks. This involves working with Mid Devon Council and Devon County Council to address key flood risks along the Shutternbrook and the Smallbrook. Mid Devon has recently carried out separate surveys of the risks for each of these watercourses and we are in discussions with Mid Devon about the work that is required to address the main concerns identified.

If you would like to know more about our work or to become involved with us as a member of the flood Network please contact us. Being a member of the Network does not necessarily involve being a Flood Warden. We meet every two or three months depending on the amount of business.

 For further information or advice please contact us.

Contacts

Roles

Email

 Telephone

Mobile

Graeme Barnell

Chair Flood Network

graeme.barnell@btinternet.com

 01392851308

07564541572

Jock Campbell

Parish Resilience Planner

j.campbell-imm@ex.ac.uk

 01392851127

07770940122

Roger Cashmore

Parish Councillor (Resilience Lead)

rogercashmore@newtonstcyres-pc.gov.uk

01392 860053

 

Ian Pearman

Deputy Chair Flood Network

ian@ipearman.freeserve.co.uk

 01392851538 

07850766989

Sarah and Rob Carter

Smallbrook Flood Defence Leads

sarecarter@hotmail.co.uk

 

07977768154 (Sarah)

07825223202 (Rob)

Phil Jenner

Shutternbrook Flood Defence Lead

philjenner@gmail.com

 01392851237

07745735217