Select committee inquiry into winter flooding

  |  Published: Sep 1st 2015
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A thorough inquiry into the response to flooding that hit Buckinghamshire communities during winter 2013/14 is being made by county councillors.

The Transport Environment and Communities Select Committee will hear evidence on Tuesday September 8 from residents whose neighbourhoods were under water, and also from the agencies involved in the response.

The committee is also keen to hear from residents, and has created an online survey at www.research.net/r/FloodinginBucks2013-14 for them to feed their experiences into the inquiry.

Unprecedented severe weather in December 2013 and February 2014 caused flooding to more than 200 homes across the county, mainly in the south, and disrupted roads and transport.

An overflowing River Thames sent water flooding into areas of Marlow, Bourne End and Medmenham, while rising groundwater at Hughenden Valley infiltrated foul sewers, and a stream that burst its banks flooded parts of the Willows estate in Aylesbury.

In the months following, the county council flood team carried out no fewer than 17 different investigations, and supported residents to establish flood action groups at Chesham, Hughenden Valley, Marlow and Aylesbury Willows

Now the Select Committee wants to pull together evidence from some of these residents' groups and from those involved in the multi-agency response to ensure lessons are learned, and all are well-prepared should another bout of severe weather bring similar flooding.

Chairing the inquiry is Select Committee Vice Chairman Patricia Birchley. 'Our flood team has already done an amazing amount of work since the flooding,' she said. 'But we need to ensure we have asked the right questions of all the right agencies to give us confidence that all partners are well prepared to work together to respond speedily and effectively.

'We want to hear from residents, and I'd urge them to feed into the inquiry using our online survey.'

Evidence given during the all-day Select Committee hearing, and details of the county council's flood team actions, will be considered during the autumn and presented to the Cabinet later in the year.

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