Communities get £12k to stop flooding

MORE than £12,000 has been awarded to flood prevention schemes in Climping and Felpham.

The money was among the latest grants handed out by West Sussex County Council in its operation watershed initiative – started in March, 2013, to support people to become more prepared for, or reduce the risk of, flooding.

The current approvals by Geoff Mee, the county council’s interim director of highways and transport commissioning, included £7,200 to Summerley Private Estate Residents’ Association and £5,495 to Climping Parish Council, among a total of £55,000,

The residents’ association will use the money for a bolehole and telemetry unit which can be used to detect imminent flood alerts.

Parish councillors want to install a road gully, grating and frame and a carrier pipe connecting to a pond with their grant.

Mr Mee says in a report: “The purpose of Operation Watershed is to support people in their local communities who want to work with the county council to become more prepared for floods and help reduce the likelihood of highways or neighbouring land flooding.”

The current grants take the total awarded through operation watershed to £1.1m.

Examples of schemes which have benefited from the money include start-up costs to support the clearing of neglected ditches, buying or hiring equipment such as shovels, waders or diggers and developing community flood plans.

“The county council could attempt to do all the work itself,” said Mr Mee. “However, it is considered that in many cases local communities are best placed to carry out smaller-scale works that are needed to help either assess the flood risk or reduce the risk of flooding in their area.”