Traumatic times for Arun residents

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THE last ten days have been traumatic ones for the many hundreds of people affected by the storms that hit the Arun district.

Adding to the many who suffered the greatest losses with the damage to their homes and property comes those whose livelihoods have been affected, whose contact with others has been severed and the many who plan to come to Arun or were already on holiday in Arun but were affected by the flooding.

I’d like to personally pay tribute first and foremost to the community for rallying round to help not just the vulnerable and the needy among them but also their friends and neighbours when they were at their lowest.

Some of the stories I have heard of residents helping others – many of whom they did not even know – have been uplifting, especially at such distressing times.

Secondly I would like to pay tribute to the emergency services – the police, fire and ambulance – for their strength and determination.

They worked tirelessly to evacuate people from their homes and treat those who needed medical help and assistance.

There was also a great effort put in by groups and organisations such as the RSPCA, Red Cross, the Environment Agency, WSCC and other agencies as well as our local community groups who have been tremendous co-ordinating and collecting donations for people affected.

Finally, I would like to pay tribute to Arun District Council staff and those staff at Inspire Leisure who worked day and night from the moment the flooding started last week to help those people who needed us most.

Our staff are also our residents and some chose to leave behind their own water-damaged properties to help others.

They continue to work around the clock to support and help those affected by the storms and this work will not stop while there are people who need our help.

Information about where people can get support and advice is being updated constantly at www.arun.gov.uk/flooding and on Twitter @ArunDistrict.

Our staff will also provide whatever assistance and advice they can for people who find it easier to visit our Council offices in the Civic Centre in Littlehampton and Bognor Regis Town Hall.

Councillor Dudley Wensley

Deputy leader of the council