A notice and flyer went out in St. Mary’s Church ‘Parishioner’ magazine in June 2014 to advertise two Open Meetings in July 2014. These meetings, organised by a Steering Group of 5 people already affected by flooding, were very well attended by local residents and those interested helping to get answers to questions about local flooding.
Among those who attended the meetings were a local Councillor, many committee members from local Residents’ Associations, members of Guildford Council, Surrey Council and other Flood Forums as well as many, many local residents with heart-wrenching stories about floods that had happened to their properties (houses, garages, gardens, roadways and more). Some of the flooding had resulted in backup from sewers which had made the flooding all the more unpleasant. Some people had to leave their houses for many, many months whilst renovations were done to their homes, only to be re-flooded again! So many people had been affected.
It was apparent from the meetings that there had been a lot of local flooding for very many years and that answers were needed to avoid it happening again.
The meetings were told about the Ash Surface Water Study currently being drafted (deadline for information to be included was 1st August 2014) and maps were available to see the areas affected so that people could mark where they had been flooded in order to capture information for the Study.
Rev Neil Lambert and Maggie George hosted the Open Meetings to gather information from local people who had been (or could be) affected by flooding in the past and possibly in the future. A lot of very useful information from local people was collected and many of those who attended the meetings were in a position to have a lot of information to add.
News Reporter Henry Bodkin wrote an article after the Open Meetings which appeared on the front page of the Ash & Farnham News & Mail (Thursday 24th July 2014) – see picture below. This news article helped enormously to get the word out that the Ash Vale Flood Action Group was being created.