Cotswold District Council announces new flood warden scheme

Cotswold District Council (CDC) has announced a new scheme helping to improve local flood preparation and response, noting that it is working with Gloucestershire Rural Community Council and parish and town councils to get volunteer wardens onboard.

In a news piece, CDC said that it would provide guidance, training, PPE and other support to the wardens, assisting them in their role as ‘eyes and ears’ within their local communities.

It added that those with local knowledge would consequently “be well placed to ensure early intervention and to help create sustainable responses to flooding”.

Commenting on the new programme, Councillor Andrew Doherty, cabinet member for the environment, waste and recycling at CDC, said that the volunteers would “be [a] first line of defence, letting the relevant authorities know about flood risks [and] flood events and also sharing information with their own communities”.

“Flooding has become more frequent in the Cotswolds over recent decades and that trend seems likely to continue with the changing climate,” he said.

“In launching the Flood Warden scheme, working together across communities, we hope we can help local residents better prepare.”

CDC said that it aimed to encourage action across bodies responsible for flood management by working collaboratively with local partners to establish the scheme and by hosting a local flooding forum.

It added that as part of winter preparations, residents with homes in danger of flooding were being encouraged to get ready by making a plan on how to react if flooding takes place, as well as to prepare defences such as sandbags prior to flooding occurring.

“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,” said Councillor Doherty.

“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.”

CDC has put together a flooding advice webpage for those within the district, which can be found at cotswold.gov.uk/flooding.

 

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