Council leader’s letter on recent flooding

(Letter to Parish Councils in West Sussex from the Leader of West Sussex County Council)

The events of June 10-12 had a very considerable impact on many communities in West Sussex, and I thought it important to advise as many people as possible about what happens now we are over the worst.

It is normal following any major event that everyone involved reviews what happened and the response to see what can be learned for the future.

This is already underway in terms of the actual response, and is being co-ordinated by our Emergency Management Team.

Additionally, West Sussex County Council has new responsibilities under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 ( FWMA) to investigate and report upon significant flooding events.

Under this Act West Sussex is named as the Lead Local Flood Authority and in such circumstances will coordinate the investigation working with other agencies including District and Borough Councils, the Environment Agency and Southern Water, which also have responsibilities to respond accordingly.

Our duties under the FWMA are being managed by our Highways Team.

Clearly the events of June 10-12 had a considerable impact upon many communities with rainfall varying in intensity across the County with the Bognor Regis, and Manhood wider areas being worst effected with 112mm recorded.

The Environment Agency has calculated this to be a 1 in 200 year storm.

The result of this was that all drainage systems whether they be surface water, foul and even water courses were overwhelmed. With so many communities affected the investigation is going to take a while to complete if it is to be done properly, and I am sure everyone will agree that this is important.

Communications with other agencies is underway with the first objective to agree the extent and location of all individual incidents and a meeting is taking place later this week to agree this.

Once we have this detail it will be circulated to all Parish Councils to confirm and to add to the list where necessary, so that we can start the process of prioritisation and appropriate response.

With so many areas affected it is going to take a while to talk to everybody.

In the meantime it is important that we capture as much information as possible while it is still fresh in people’s memories.

Your assistance is sought in establishing the facts.

You may recall you received a letter at the beginning of May regarding the Community Flood Fund which set out the information West Sussex County Council needed:

Location Plan or sketch showing the extent of flooding

Nature of flooding i.e. surface water, foul, ground water, overflowing ditch /stream etc

Past history of flooding.

Land ownership details.

Details of affected flooded area i.e. homes, premises or communities

This information is really important, and I would encourage you to email it to FRM@westsussex.gov.uk or send it to:

West Sussex County Council

Drainage Strategy Team

Drayton Depot

Drayton Lane

Nr. Chichester

West Sussex

PO20 2AJ

The reality will be that we will be unable to resolve every issue, but I can assure you we will consider everything and as an absolute minimum offer appropriate advice.

Louise Goldsmith

Leader

West Sussex County Council