Newark and Sherwood District Council passes motion to combat flooding

Posted on: Thursday, February 15, 2024

Councillor Paul Peacock, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “The recent flooding has had a detrimental effect on people’s lives, I’m determined that our council will be proactive in getting all stakeholders around the table to tackle this issue rather than waiting to see what will happen next time flooding happens.

“I am proud of how we have worked together as a district to recover over these extremely challenging few months, but now we must lead the way and do all we can to protect our communities.

“On Tuesday, Full Council unanimously passed a motion committing to work alongside local agencies and partners to explore ways to tackle the continued threat of flooding.

“We will ensure all the key partners work together to tackle this issue for the benefit of our residents and businesses, who have suffered a great deal due to flooding. I look forward to seeing what we can achieve together.”

Councillor Rowan Cozens, Deputy Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council said: “I think Newark and Sherwood District Council is leading the way here in getting people together, although it is much more than what is required of us statutorily. I’m really proud of the way we are looking to move forward, it is absolutely not business as usual, and we need proper funding to combat flooding.

“No longer can businesses continue to be affected, no longer can residents’ homes continually be under threat. We will do all we can to drive forward this issue. We have already met with flood wardens and community groups, and we know that residents have a great deal of knowledge and insight and it’s really important that we come together and act on this as a district.”

The motion is as follows:

“Newark and Sherwood District has seen occurrences of three severe weather events over recent months. This has resulted in both serious flooding in locations that have a track record of flooding as well as new locations.

“Understandably, the people of Newark and Sherwood are angry and concerned about the number of times their homes, communities and livelihoods have been impacted.

“The consequences of these flooding incidents have seen homes repeatedly flooded and damaged, businesses and farmland flooded, roads closed, and residents’ mental health impacted.

“These types of flooding incidents have been described as once in 100-year events. However, with the impacts of climate change escalating, we know flooding is harder to forecast and will become more commonplace

“As water levels start to reduce, there is a danger that there will be a perception that Newark and Sherwood District Council is returning to business as usual.  However, we can assure residents that this is not the case.

“We cannot just go back to business as usual. We do not accept the level of pain and suffering so many of our residents across Newark and Sherwood have been through. Our thinking and future actions need to show an understanding that some degree of adaptation needs to be considered in relation to the impacts of Climate Change.

“We know that many people and businesses are still suffering from the impacts of the recent flooding, with their homes and lives devastated. For some, this is likely to be an ongoing issue for many months. Even after homes have dried out and been refurbished, many will be living with the fear that it will happen again. We cannot see these individuals abandoned.

“As a District Council we wish to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of so many people during the floods. The staff of this District Council who worked tirelessly, putting in long hours over and above their normal working hours to support residents.

“We would like to thank all the Community Flood Wardens for all their expertise and hard work. Members of the emergency services, Police and Fire Brigade. We would also like to acknowledge the work of organisations who have statutory responsibility around flooding: Nottinghamshire County Council as the Flood Authority, the Environment Agency, and the Internal Drainage Boards along with the water authorities. Our communities would have suffered even more had it not been for the efforts of volunteers and neighbours helping one another, along with our many community groups. We also want to thank supermarkets who donated provisions for those isolated.

“As a District Council, we held a debrief session with our partners and volunteers as just outlined to learn the lessons from their perspective and we will continue to learn lessons as we further engage with our communities.

“The District Council now proposes that, in order to move forward, we must bring together local authorities and other agencies with a responsibility for flood alleviation across the Trent Valley to explore ways of addressing the continued threat of flooding. This will include a proposal to jointly commission a River Trent Valley Flood Alleviation Plan.

“The plan should capitalise on the benefits of finding natural solutions, including restoring wetlands and floodplains, tree planting schemes, the creation of reed beds, and dedicated dredging.

“Flood alleviation is the responsibility of Central Government, Environment Agency, Nottinghamshire County Council (Flood Authority), Seven Trent Water and the Internal Drainage Boards. Other local Authorities the length of the River Trent also have a key role to play.

“Ultimately, we will need Government support in order to implement any flood alleviation plan.

“Therefore tonight, the District Council resolves to work tirelessly with those authorities with statutory responsibilities and with other stakeholders to ensure the creation of a flood alleviation plan for the Trent Valley. This District Council will then lobby Government for the resources to be made available to implement the plan as soon as possible.”