FLOOD Action Groups from four Bourne Valley villages came together with local authorities and the Environment Agency to discuss ways to reduce the risk of future flooding.

Residents from Vernham Deane, Upton, Hurst-bourne Tarrant and St Mary Bourne joined representatives from Hampshire County Council, Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) and the Environment Agency (EA).

These four villages were badly affected by flooding in February caused by unprecedented water levels and heavy rainfall.

Each village gave a short presentation and then put forward proposals on how to strengthen resilience to flooding in the area.

Hampshire County Council (HCC) emergency planning officer Neil Jenkins explained that there is a strong commitment to work with local communities alongside other authorities, including the Environment Agency, to put robust plans in place to deal with any future crisis.

He said: “In an emergency situation it is vital that we have a point of contact who can help us to understand what resources are needed and determine priorities.

“I would advise each village to establish a crisis management group to manage communication and to help us provide care and support, information and, where necessary, practical help to the vulnerable.”

Representatives from the EA, HCC and TVBC Flood Management Team agreed to visit the Bourne Valley and examine the water course within the next month.

Further meetings will be scheduled in due course.