Residents retell flood experiences to Select Committee inquiry

  |  Published: Sep 10th 2015
Inquiry Chairman Patricia Birchley: important to have people's involvement
Inquiry Chairman Patricia Birchley: important to have people's involvement

Nearly six hours of evidence from the winter storms of 2013/14 are now being digested by Buckinghamshire county councillors on the Transport Environment and Communities Select Committee.

They heard experiences on Tuesday (September 8) from residents of Hughenden Valley, Marlow and Aylesbury, who attended a day-long inquiry into the lessons learned from responses to the county-wide flooding.

And they are also asking residents across the county who were affected by the flooding to feed into the inquiry through an online survey, open until September 18, at  

Residents told the inquiry of their uncertainties during the 2013/14 storms in knowing who to call to deal with the emergency, because of the range of different agencies involved.

And they spoke of the difficulty in getting a response from the various agencies, who were busy answering emergency calls across a wide area.

The inquiry heard the range of problems residents faced: including flooding caused by high water levels in the Thames, and overflowing sewers swelled by excess groundwater.

The Select Committee also heard from 10 representatives of partner agencies about how they managed and prioritised their responses to dozens of flood incidents happening at the same time.

Inquiry Chairman Patricia Birchley said the Select Committee would be spending the coming few weeks digesting the evidence before meeting to formulate recommendations to the County Council Cabinet in December.

'It was a day for listening,' she said. 'It was important to us to have the involvement of people who were directly affected by the flooding, and of those who clearly battled against terrible odds in appalling weather.

'I'm very grateful to them for devoting time to feed into our inquiry.

'Our aim, in reflecting on all the evidence, is to make sure that future responses to such emergencies are as good as we can possibly make them.'

Almost 100 residents have so far responded to the online survey.?
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