Open Meetings – April 2016

Following on from our 3rd Multi Agency Meeting in February we have arranged to host two Open Meetings in April. These meetings are open to anyone in our area who wants to know more about the group and the issues we are tackling. We’ll also bring you up-to-date on our work with the agencies responsible for water management and how they are helping to get flooding issues resolved.

As well as our own update we have also invited other groups to give presentations during the meeting, including:

  • ‘Intro to flooding’ Explanation of flooding types, who to contact and how to prevent, report and minimise damage (Presentation from Surrey County Council).
  • The Red Cross.
  • First Steps: Helping people find their way back to emotional well-being.
  • The Fire Service.
  • Priority Service Register (PSR): Helping you get extra support with your energy supply.

Leaflets will be available to take away from these and other groups of interest.

The Open Meetings will be held at St.Marys Church, Vale Road, Ash Vale. On Monday 4th April starting promptly at 12.30-2.30pm (lunchtime) and Tuesday 5th April starting promptly 6.30-8.30pm (evening)

We look forward to welcoming as many people as possible, please do feel free to let neighbours and friends know who you feel may be interested.

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Meeting with Michael Gove

Friday 12th Feb 2016, John Barrie and Alun Davies attended a meeting with Michael Gove. Also present were two members of Michael`s staff.

The meeting was productive, and our MP was interested in the problems we are having and the causes we have found.

He was invited to attend the next MAM (multi-agency meeting), to see for himself what actions had been taken.

Hopefully our MP will be free to attend this meeting, and have more time to go through the specific problems and their possible solutions.

He listened carefully to what John and Alun had to say, and soon noticed that surface water flooding was not the only common problem.

His members of staff were both taking notes, copies of maps for Ash Wharf area were left with them.

Copies of correspondence were also left with him concerning the village green / football club and the ditch maps for that area.

A commitment was made that he would look into this, then raise the matter with the appropriate councils.

So hopefully by the next MAM meeting we should have an update on the responses our MP has received from the appropriate councils, if he is not able to attend the meeting himself.

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Flood Re – Petition to Parliament

We were recently contacted by Stephanie Curtis who has started a petition to try to persuade the government to extend the Flood Re scheme to include more of those at risk of flooding and also to continue with the Statement of Principles so more homes are able to obtain insurance at a fair price.

Flood Re has been set up by government to try and help those households who live in a flood risk area find affordable home insurance but of the five million homes considered by the Environment Agency to be at risk of flooding, Flood Re is estimated to only help 350,000 based on the current criteria for eligibility.

Further information about Flood Re can be found on their website floodre.co.uk. Paul Lewis has also written an article about Flood Re on his blog Paul Lewis Money.

Stephanie told us what motivated her to start the petition. “I live in Keswick in Cumbria and I was flooded on 5 December in Storm Desmond. There were approximately 450 premises flooded in Keswick a lot of whom did not have insurance and many of whom will not be eligible for Flood Re.”

The petition needs to raise 10,000 signatures in order to get a response from government but if as many as 100,000 signature are obtained this issue will be debated in Parliament. Please do join us in supporting Stephanie with this very worthwhile cause.

Stephanie’s petition can be found on petition.parliament.uk.

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3rd Multi Agency Meeting

February 8th 2016 saw our third Multi Agency Meeting.  Our Multi Agency Meetings bring together representatives from all the agencies and organisations responsible for managing the flow of water through Ash Parish.

This meeting in February saw representatives from Surrey County Council, The Environment Agency, Guildford Borough Council, Network Rail, The Ministry of Defence and Thames Water.

The meeting is conducted around our Flood Action Plan which was put together with guidance from The National Flood Forum. The Action Plan details all areas known to the group that impact our flood risk. The agency representatives either answer our questions during the meeting and/or commit to actions to be completed in an agreed time frame.

Yesterday’s meeting was overseen by the group’s Chair, Maggie George. “I’m so pleased to have chaired such a well attended meeting. It gives me confidence that so many individuals in our area are committed to solving the issues we face around flooding.  I’d like to thank all the agency representatives who are key to the success of this initiative and to all the committee members who continue to dedicate their energy, time and invaluable local knowledge. This meeting again brought us that bit closer to solving some of our current challenges.”

The date of the next Multi Agency Meeting is still in discussion to ensure as many representatives as possible are able to attend. Updates will follow on our website for this and the group’s other activities.

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Local Volunteer Group Committed to Reducing the Risk of Flooding in and Around Ash Vale Parish