Guide to setting up flood action groups

Flooding in West Sussex in the winter of 2013/14

Flooding in West Sussex in the winter of 2013/14

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An online ‘how-to’ guide to starting a flood action group in West Sussex has been published.

It is aimed at residents, or existing community groups, who report flooding or are concerned about future flooding in their areas.

Flood action groups represent a voice for their community on flood-related issues.

They work closely with local authorities, the Environment Agency, water companies, landowners, and businesses to find ways to help reduce flood risk in their community.

The West Sussex County Council website offers guidance on setting up groups, funding, skills, training, and equipment.

John O’Brien, WSCC’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “People think it is difficult to set up a flood action group – it is not.

“With this website we are trying to make it as easy as possible.

“You can set up a group for your street, your neighbourhood or estate.

“You can set one up as part of an existing group you may already be part of, such as neighbourhood watch or a residents association.

“This website can help you.”

There are 23 flood action groups already in the county, and are a growing influence on flood risk management strategy in West Sussex.

Two nominated representatives sit on the West Sussex Flood Risk Management Board, alongside statutory flood authorities the Environment Agency, Southern Water, and the county council.

Mr O’Brien added: “Flood action groups can be the eyes and ears of our highways teams.

“With their local knowledge, they can report flooding issues and potential flooding problems before they happen.”

Operation Watershed funding is available to support setting up a flood action group.

Up to £1,600 is available to assist with start-up costs and promoting the group.

Established groups can then apply for further funding to deliver projects that address flooding issues they identify.

Operation Watershed has awarded £390,805 to flood action groups in the past.

Flood action groups to successfully apply include:

• Birdham and Earnley Flood Prevention Group for its Grange Rife clearance project,

• West Felpham Flood Action Assembly for ditch clearance work, and

• Littlehampton Flood Action Group’s groundwater borehole investigation.

For more information about flood action groups, visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/floodactiongroups

To apply for Operation Watershed funding email operation.watershed@westsussex.gov.uk for more information.

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