Winchester MP Steve Brine brought together local councillors and key agencies to consider the lessons learned across Kings Worthy and Headbourne Worthy following recent flooding. The meeting was described as a "first step" in putting plans in place to mitigate future bad weather in the area.
Senior Environment Agency and Southern Water officials joined officers from Hampshire County and Winchester City Councils as well as Parish, City and County Councillors from across the Worthys for the session, held at Tubbs Hall in Kings Worthy on Tuesday 4th March 2014.
Cllr Harry Whorwood from Headbourne Worthy Parish Council and Cllr Phil Allen from Kings Worthy outlined the challenges faced in recent weeks which saw large volumes of water cascading down Springvale Road and brought widespread road closures. Many are still in place although highways officials were present to discuss some partial re-opening which is expected to take place this week.
Linda Tartaglia-Kershaw from Hampshire County Council's Environment Team outlined the work being undertaken at the present time to identify bids for the funding of future flood defence projects which must be submitted in outline form to the Environment Agency by 12th March. The date, which sees the culmination of many months work, had been fixed for 3rd March but Steve Brine secured an extension after raising the issue in Parliament last week.
Speaking after the meeting Steve said; "This was a first step but a useful chance to bring all the key players together to consider what went well and where we need to improve, both in terms of response and infrastructure.
"Both parishes will now work together, with support from the Environment Agency which has a particular specialism in this area, to produce emergency plans which have been invaluable in other areas such as Twyford and Hambledon but were sadly not in place across the Worthys.
"In addition to wide-ranging discussions around the issues created by ground-water flooding, not least the impact on the sewerage systems managed by Southern Water, it was extremely useful to convey to county officers the key messages from these communities as they compile bids to Government for future capital spending."
Mr Brine added that although everything that could be done to lessen the impact of future ground-water flooding would be considered, there was a real need to manage expectations around the extent to which unprecedented weather events can be handled.
The two parish councils are currently keen to hear from residents who have been affected by the recent flooding and hope to organise a joint public meeting in the coming weeks to give residents a chance to have their say.
Pictured; Steve Brine before the meeting with Mark Thompson from Southern Water and Mike O'Neill from the Environment Agency. Also, at the height of the floods last month, in Lovedon Lane outside the King Charles Pub with officials.
More information ...
LISTEN - short clip of Steve Brine speaking after the meeting
Attending the meeting were; Steve Brine MP, Cllr Robert Johnson (WCC), Cllr Jane Rutter (WCC & HBWPC), Cllr Jackie Porter (HCC), Cllr Ian Gordon (KWPC), Cllr Phil Allen (KWPC), Harry Whorwood (HBWPC), Mark Thompson - (Head of Wastewater Assets, Southern Water), Mike O'Neill (Operations Manager, Solent & South Downs Area, EA), Andrew Gilham (Flood & Coastal Risk Manager, Solent and South Downs Area, EA), Linda Tartaglia-Kershaw (HCC), Peter Eade (HCC) plus Richard Sykes and Andy Hickman (WCC).
Steve Brine is active right across his Winchester & Chandler's Ford constituency. You can now see news specific to where you live via our community pages.