Friday, 26 July 2013

Arundel Flood Risk – Call to Action

Arundel Flood Risk .
In my June article I highlighted the flood risk to Arundel and the costs that were needed to put defences in place (£10m for next 10 years, £23M for the next 50 years). 

I highlighted that due to the new government rules that only 31% of the money will be provided by central government through the Environment Agency and the rest would have to be provided locally.  When I say locally that should include West Sussex County Council (WSCC), Arun District Council (ADC) and the Town Council (ATC), as well as local businesses and households.

With this in mind, we need to ensure that WSCC take the lead role in driving the funding partnership, ADC and ATC have roles to play, but firstly we need acknowledgement from WSCC that it needs to take the lead role, so I have asked Mike De-Lara (ex Chairman of Arundel Community Partnership) to form a community group to pressure our councils to come together and provide a route map and plan for raising the money and implementing the works that are needed.

The new group is being called the Arundel Flood Risk Community Group (AFRCG) and is hoping to hold a public meeting at the Town Hall at the end of September, I hope all residents will attend, but certainly those from the 400 or so households and businesses that are at short, medium and long-term flood risk.

I believe as well as planning for the future flood defences that householders should take their own steps to protect their homes, if you are renovating your home, then move the plugs and sockets to a higher level but also Arun has been holding road shows recently on protecting your home with simple products, e.g. airbrick covers, waterproof slats for doors, toilet seals, etc, etc
As a community we will need to get ahead of the curve, ATC is likely to have to provide some 10% of the funds, so I believe there should be an increase in the precept per household of about £26pa (50p per week).  This would provide a yearly total of about £30k which with compound interest can grow to £420,000 over 10 years. Also those households and businesses at risk will have to be prepared to make individual contributions.

The important thing to realise is that with no local contributions, there will be no Government contribution, and that therefore the flood risk to the people, homes and businesses in Arundel will remain unabated.

So let’s ensure Arundel is in the headlines for the fantastic place it is to live and visit, and not as a centre of flooding with television crews recording the misery of flooded out homes.
Until next month, my email is Pauldendle@aol.com


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