Flood Warden scheme to launch in the Cotswolds as flooding season approaches
Cotswold District Council is working in partnership with Gloucestershire Rural Community Council (GRCC) and town and parish councils to recruit local volunteer wardens to a new scheme helping to improve local flood preparation and responses.
The Council will provide training, PPE, best practice guidance and other support to volunteer flood wardens, helping them in their role as ‘eyes and ears’ in their local communities. In this way, those with local knowledge will be well placed to ensure early intervention and to help create sustainable responses to flooding.
Councillor Andrew Doherty, Cabinet Member for the Environment, Waste and Recycling said; “Flooding has become more frequent in the Cotswolds over recent decades and that trend seems likely to continue with the changing climate.
“In launching the Flood Warden scheme, working together across communities, we hope we can help local residents better prepare. We had some great sessions this week with our parish councils to launch the programme for this winter and it was very well received.
“The Flood Wardens will be our first line of defence, letting the relevant authorities know about flood risks, flood events and also sharing information with their own communities.”
Barbara Piranty, CEO at GRCC said; “We are delighted to be able to work in partnership with Cotswold District Council on this important piece of work. Having successfully implemented similar schemes elsewhere in the county, we are keen to use the learning to ensure that communities are prepared and confident in dealing with this recurring issue.”
Since the Christmas floods of 2020, Cotswold District Council has been working hard to improve the flooding situation. By working collaboratively with local partners to set up the Flood Warden scheme and holding a local ‘flooding forum’, the Council aims to encourage action across the organisations responsible for flood management.
As part of winter preparations, residents whose homes are at risk of flooding are being encouraged to prepare by creating a plan on how to respond if flooding does occur and also to prepare defenses like sandbags ahead of flooding taking place.
Cllr Doherty added; “The Christmas 2020 floods were challenging for many and we have been working hard all year to encourage partners to do more for the Cotswolds and to improve our own preparations where we can.
“Given the time of year, it is now time for residents to make their own preparations - reducing the risks to themselves and their property, and ensuring that if flooding happens they know what to do and who to contact.”
The District Council has created a flooding advice web page for people across the district, which provides information on how to plan for flooding and also outlines the responsibilities of the various agencies, councils and organisations in the event of flooding.
Residents can access the advice by visiting cotswold.gov.uk/flooding