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Cossington Parish Council

Cossington Flood Group on BBC Radio Somerset

25th January 2014

Cossington Flood Group on BBC Radio Somerset

 

On 21st November BBC Radio Somerset reporter Jack Killah paid a visit to Cossington Village Hall to attend the fifth meeting of the Cossington Flood Group in the Broderip Room - and interview some of its members for a feature on the Emma Britton morning show.

 

The Parish Council formed the Flood Group early in 2013 following the flooding in the village centre in November 2012. The Flood Group comprises Martin Dare and George Terry from the Parish Council along with residents Margaret Offer, Margaret Gray and Tom Davies (Tom also being a School Governor) – with additional representation from Sedgemoor District Council and Somerset County Council. The Group’s aim is to mitigate flood risk through improving the effectiveness of watercourse and drainage systems along with raising public awareness of the issues relating to flooding and proactive monitoring of key risk areas.

 

You wouldn’t normally consider a village like Cossington as being susceptible to flooding being well above the Levels and a long way from the nearest river. However, in extreme weather conditions, watercourses and drains can easily become blocked with fallen twigs, leaves and other debris washed in from the surrounding areas. This can result in surface water accumulation causing significant problems to the lowest area of the village around the school. This last happened in November 2012 with the school and several dwellings severely affected in addition to general disruption on the roads. You may remember the article and the rather dramatic cover photo in the January 2013 edition of Polden Post.

 

A lot of work has been done since to clear the open watercourses with a noticeable improvement in flow. Thanks are due to village residents who assisted with this task. Underground culverts (crossing Middle Road and Locks Way) have been examined with a Closed Circuit TV survey revealing some significant issues. A major blockage under Middle Road has been cleared and commitments obtained from the relevant bodies for some important remedial work during 2014.

 

The group has engaged the village into Sedgemoor’s Sandbag scheme so we have a small local supply of sandbags for high-risk buildings in flood alert conditions. An additional escape channel for surface water build-up has been created across the Middle Road green funded by the Somerset County Council Flood Mitigation scheme. Some buildings, including the school, have had their own flood protection measures installed in the form of flood gates.

 

It is pleasing to see that, despite the winds, rain and resultant saturated ground we experienced around the turn of the year, the watercourses have coped well. However, we cannot be complacent and the Group’s work continues with additional improvements planned for 2014.  We can never guarantee that flooding won’t occur in the future. However, we confident that we are now in a much better position to cope with extreme wet weather when it comes our way.

 

The BBC Radio Somerset feature was broadcast on 22nd November 2013 (the anniversary of the 2012 flooding) with flood group member interview snippets also featured during half-hourly news bulletins throughout the morning.

 

On 21st November BBC Radio Somerset reporter Jack Killah paid a visit to Cossington Village Hall to attend the fifth meeting of the Cossington Flood Group in the Broderip Room - and interview some of its members for a feature on the Emma Britton morning show.

 

The Parish Council formed the Flood Group early in 2013 following the flooding in the village centre in November 2012. The Flood Group comprises Martin Dare and George Terry from the Parish Council along with residents Margaret Offer, Margaret Gray and Tom Davies (Tom also being a School Governor) – with additional representation from Sedgemoor District Council and Somerset County Council. The Group’s aim is to mitigate flood risk through improving the effectiveness of watercourse and drainage systems along with raising public awareness of the issues relating to flooding and proactive monitoring of key risk areas.

 

You wouldn’t normally consider a village like Cossington as being susceptible to flooding being well above the Levels and a long way from the nearest river. However, in extreme weather conditions, watercourses and drains can easily become blocked with fallen twigs, leaves and other debris washed in from the surrounding areas. This can result in surface water accumulation causing significant problems to the lowest area of the village around the school. This last happened in November 2012 with the school and several dwellings severely affected in addition to general disruption on the roads. You may remember the article and the rather dramatic cover photo in the January 2013 edition of Polden Post.

 

A lot of work has been done since to clear the open watercourses with a noticeable improvement in flow. Thanks are due to village residents who assisted with this task. Underground culverts (crossing Middle Road and Locks Way) have been examined with a Closed Circuit TV survey revealing some significant issues. A major blockage under Middle Road has been cleared and commitments obtained from the relevant bodies for some important remedial work during 2014.

 

The group has engaged the village into Sedgemoor’s Sandbag scheme so we have a small local supply of sandbags for high-risk buildings in flood alert conditions. An additional escape channel for surface water build-up has been created across the Middle Road green funded by the Somerset County Council Flood Mitigation scheme. Some buildings, including the school, have had their own flood protection measures installed in the form of flood gates.

 

It is pleasing to see that, despite the winds, rain and resultant saturated ground we experienced around the turn of the year, the watercourses have coped well. However, we cannot be complacent and the Group’s work continues with additional improvements planned for 2014.  We can never guarantee that flooding won’t occur in the future. However, we confident that we are now in a much better position to cope with extreme wet weather when it comes our way.

 

The BBC Radio Somerset feature was broadcast on 22nd November 2013 (the anniversary of the 2012 flooding) with flood group member interview snippets also featured during half-hourly news bulletins throughout the morning.

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