Council group continues to lead borough's response to flooding incidents

6 July 2021

A Flood Risk Action (FRAG) group established by Cheshire West and Chester Council continues to lead the response to recent flooding incidents to safeguard the borough from future events. 

The group was established earlier this year in response to the flooding following Storm Christoph in January 2021 and the flooding in Northwich in 2019. 

It was part of a package of preventative measures that also included £250,000 of Council investment to support schemes to help the borough recover. 

The FRAG consists of Council members and officers and members of the community. It includes input from partners such as the Environment Agency, the Canal and River Trust and United Utilities, as required. 

The group's remit is to respond to these flooding events and oversee any actions coming out of the Section 19 flooding investigation report into the 2019 incident.

A progress report on Flood Risk Management and the work of FRAG will be presented to Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday 7 July. The report states that the group has now met five times. 

The group has reviewed the recommendations of the 2019 Section 19 investigation, developed an action plan and recommended a forward works programme. 

Work that has been carried out in response to this investigation includes CCTV camera inspections of the drainage system in and around Northwich to identify areas where work is needed. There is also a plan to replace gullies along London Road in Northwich.

The Cabinet report outlines that the Council has appointed a team of specialists to conduct further Section 19 investigations across the borough, together with appointing a team of specialists to investigate the borough’s drainage system. 

These investigations have already begun in three areas hit by the flooding in January - Hooton Green, Blacon in Chester and Ashton Hayes. 
The work includes CCTV investigation along with cleaning and repairing pipework as faults are identified. 

To support residents who had been displaced by the floods, Cheshire West and Chester Council introduced a Council Tax discount scheme.
The Council and its partners continue to explore what grant funding is available to support businesses and residents affected by flooding. 

As part of the plans, the Council is now investigating the feasibility of creating a dedicated Flood Risk Management Team to look at the borough's long-term resilience to flooding and to conduct future investigations.

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Cllr Karen Shore, said: “The flooding events have had a devastating effect on our borough. The Council and its partners did all they could at the time of the incidents to support residents and businesses and to make sure that people and homes were safe. In the aftermath of the flooding, we promised to take action to determine how we can safeguard against future events.

“Whilst the Council is the lead local flood authority, we cannot solve these problems in isolation, which is why we are working with a wide range of partners.

“The investigations into the flooding show that the issues facing the borough are complex and challenging. However, we are determined to work together to overcome them for the safety and wellbeing of our residents and the future prosperity of our borough.

“It is a really positive move that people from across the borough are working with us as part of the FRAG. The group will continue to play an important role in our response to flooding and we will be keeping all of our residents updated on its progress.”

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