A REPORT outlining where responsibilities for flooding lie will be drawn up by council officers – in a bid to prevent some of the issues residents faced in last month’s heavy rainfall being repeated.
Cllr George Oliver brought a motion at full council last week requesting a report be drawn up to be examined by the Corporate and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee on “the reported shortcomings in the council's response to requests for help from residents during the recent flooding.”
But an amendment to this was put forward by Cllr Martin Forshaw requesting a report be submitted at the next council meeting, outlining the council’s and its partner agencies statutory duties in relation to flooding.
The amendment, which also included a request for the minutes of the next Three Tier forum – a regular meeting between members of parish, borough and county councillors – be submitted to the next borough council meeting. Cllr Forshaw said that he wasn’t able to support the original motion as he wouldn’t “take the blame for the worst rain in 30 years” or the short comings of other agencies in their responses.
He said: “The report will explain to members what our responsibilities are and the responsibilities of our partners.”
But Cllr John Hodson said: “Cllr Oliver isn’t laying blame at the council, he makes reference to reported shortcomings after listening to people in his area. Their first call made is to this authority but it’s a multi-agency problem.”
He said the issue that needed to be addressed was ensuring that people were pointed in the right direction when they made that first call.
Cllr Blane spoke of how it would be useful to know exactly what responsibilities each agency has so councillors could make sure residents knew who to contact depending on the issue.
He said: “This [amendment] allows a report to come back to let me say to people ‘that’s what the responsibilities of each agency are’.”
The amendment also extended sympathies to residents affected by flooding and placed on record the appreciation of the council to the agencies that assisted those affected.