In the first full week back after Christmas, I’m delighted that the County Council was able to mark the start of 2013 with the announcement of our £8.25 million investment into flood-related schemes.
As I have written in previous blogs, last year’s extreme wet conditions represented a big challenge for the County Council and caused misery to householders and all affected.
The question that has been put to me at various meetings and when talking to people is what if this is not a one off, but a new weather pattern. How prepared is the County Council for that scenario? What are we doing to sort out those trouble spots?
Water will find the weakest point where it will surge out, and there have been many examples of that across the county during heavy rainfall. So there is an indisputable and urgent case to invest in drainage schemes, repair the roads, and provide community funding in answer to the comments made and in response to the recent flooding. That is why we were able to allocate money from reserves in order to pay for this additional and essential work.
As the County Council does not have enough ‘in-house capacity’ to draw up such schemes we will have to scale up quickly. This announcement is also very good news for business, as all contracts will have to be let to outside specialists, so the economy will also benefit from our £8.25 million investment.
However, we need to work closely with our partners to achieve the works needed, and we do ask everyone who has responsibility for ditches to ensure that they are clear.
But the most important thing is we crack on as soon as we can.
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