Flood briefing held on collective efforts in Hampshire

Basingstoke Gazette: Flood briefing held on collective efforts in Hampshire Flood briefing held on collective efforts in Hampshire

A FLOOD briefing has been held with the police, fire service, Environment Agency and Hampshire County Council (HCC).

County councillors were briefed on the collective efforts across the county, and how preparations and around-the-clock emergency response has been top of the agenda as Hampshire feels the force of the heaviest rain in 200 years.

More than 90 communities, including Buckskin, are affected by serious flooding, over 60 properties are flooded and around 30 roads have been closed for safety reasons.

Another 100 are described as ‘passable with care’.

Councillor Roy Perry, leader of HCC, applauded volunteers who have helped protect areas vulnerable to flooding.

It was highlighted that communities have helped out by delivering sandbags, creating water diversion tactics, salvaging belongings and using private pumps to protect homes and key community buildings.

Cllr Perry said: “Councillors met the chief constable, the chief fire officer and the Environment Agency to confirm that everything that can be done is being done, and that we are all using our collective resources and expertise in a way that ensures Hampshire residents are protected, and kept as safe as possible.

“Effective partnership working and cooperation is important at any time, but particularly so during times of emergency. No one agency has sole responsibility for all aspects of flooding and this is why we need to work closely together to ensure that resource is carefully managed and prioritised to where it is needed the most.”

Councillor Sean Woodward, the council’s executive member for economy, transport and environment, called on the Government for stability in flood defence funding, adding: “We also want assistance towards the cost of repairing infrastructure. The £2 million required for road repairs this winter alone is a huge amount of money when you consider that by the end of this Parliament, we have lost over half our Government funding.

“Adverse weather highlights the fragility of the highways network that we all rely on to transport essential fuel and supplies, get people to work, enable services to stay open and public transport continue, all to keep Hampshire moving, which is a critical aspect of community resilience.”

Chief Constable Andy Marsh thanked communities for working together to look after the vulnerable and elderly.

He added: "Safer Neighbourhoods Teams will continue to work with the communities and other public service agencies to provide reassurance and offer any assistance whatsoever. We are all in this together, and by working together we will get through it.”

Chief fire officer John Bonney added: “We will continue to be there for our community, laying sandbags, providing reassurance and comfort for people.

“We will carry out salvage work for those affected by floodwater where necessary. We will put our resources where they will provide most value for people. While there is no statutory duty, of course fire and rescue services will always use their general powers and resources to help prevent and mitigate flood risk.”

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