Flood-threatened communities get emergency plan support

Communities at risk of flooding are being helped by Mid Suffolk District Council to better prepare for the future.

Mid Suffolk District Council is helping communities better prepare for future flooding risks - as the devastation caused by recent storms continues to impact on many residents.
Hundreds of properties in the district were flooded during Storm Babet in October, with some people not yet able to return home. A smaller number of properties were also flooded during Storm Henk earlier this month.
The council has been working alongside partner agencies to support those affected, including distributing government flood relief grants.  
It also continues to liaise with the Environment Agency and Suffolk County Council (the lead local flood authority) over measures that could help reduce flooding risk to property and roads.
Now, following its latest full council meeting, Mid Suffolk has also agreed to support all towns and parishes to create enhanced community emergency response plans.
Cllr Tim Weller, cabinet member for the environment, culture and wellbeing, said: “Some communities already have robust emergency plans, but we want to help everyone get to the same point. Prevention and proactive preparedness are key to future protection.
“Levels of rainfall experienced during Storm Babet were described as a ‘once in 100 year’ event by some people. But the effects of climate change - including flooding - are expected to be a risk of increasing frequency, so we’re leaving nothing to chance.”
Cllr Weller added: “We have worked effectively with Suffolk County Council and the Environment Agency, and this will continue. 
“It will be vital to bring together technical expertise, along with local knowledge of landowners and their representative bodies and third sector partners. We would also like to see solutions for our communities which are as environmentally sustainable as possible.
“We all recognise this is urgent work, but it will take time. Which is why, in the short term, we want to help communities tap into expert advice so they can be prepared for future emergencies.”
In the wake of Storm Babet, Mid Suffolk has now worked with Suffolk County Council to distribute government relief grants to around 300 flood-hit homes and nearly 40 businesses. 
Eligible flood-hit property owners can also apply for up to £5,000 to help make their homes and businesses more resilient to future flooding via the Property Flood Resilience Repair Grant Scheme, being administered by Suffolk County Council.
The full council meeting also heard praise for all those who have stepped up to help communities since Storm Babet.
Cllr Weller said: “It is important to recognise the collaborative efforts of statutory agencies, parish and town councils, schools and very many individual volunteers in responding to the extreme weather events since October. We want to keep working together because we know what a priority this is for our communities.”

Details of the motion can be found on the agenda for Mid Suffolk District Council’s full council meeting on 25 January. The debate can be heard on the Youtube link from 3:09.

Flood-threatened communities in Mid Suffolk are to get emergency plan support. Inset: Cllr Tim Weller.