CALLS are being made for council bosses in Wychavon to launch a centre of excellence to tackle the flooding chaos which is repeatedly hitting the county.
Councillor Charles Tucker, chairman of the National Flood Forum, wants the area to become a national beacon when it comes to helping people deal with flooded homes and roads.
He has produced a list of ideas for the district council’s Conservative leadership to help tackle the problem including:
Brokering a community insurance scheme for home owners who are struggling to afford cover from conventional sources.
Recruiting flooding volunteers to knock on doors and offer practical help during crisis moments.
Making extra bids for new money from central government, or other avenues, towards flood alleviation schemes.
Taking a lead role in monitoring the likes of Severn Trent and the Environment Agency to make sure that their performances are up to scratch.
Eckington Bridge and Jubilee Bridge in Fladbury, near Evesham, were both closed this week due to flooding which was the latest in a series of disruptions over the winter. The Environment Agency issued 28 flood warnings in the region earlier this week, including at Wyre Piddle and Bredon.
Coun Tucker’s report, which is due to be debated by full council on Tuesday, also calls for ongoing efforts to clear ditches.
The district council still retains an in-house team of engineers and he wants it to be marketed to other authorities with a view to potentially making it profitable.
Coun Tucker, a Liberal Democrat, said at least 30 homes in the Wychavon area have flooded recently and it could worsen in future years if predictions of freak weather are accurate.
“Clearly we are going to have to adapt,” he said.
The Tories have pledged to continue funding the engineering team, but say they are waiting for the Government to update the national statement of principles on flooding before deciding what to do.
Coun Emma Stokes, cabinet member for environment and contracted services, said: “We are doing an awful lot in this area and will continue to do so. The engineering team do a great job and we’ve had the foresight to keep them – the approach they offer us is invaluable.”