Flood inquiries given highest priority, says council leader

COMMUNITIES around Bognor Regis which were affected by flooding have been assured the inquiries into what happened have the highest priority.

West Sussex County Council leader Cllr Louise Goldsmith said all he agencies involved were also looking at drainage management and ways of helping to make neighbourhoods more resilient in future.

A report into the emergency is expected to be published in November.

A series of workshops will be held to present the findings to the worst-affected communities.

The flooding in mid-June affected some 250 homes around Bognor. Most were in Felpham, Middleton and Elmer, though some flooding also occurred in North Bersted.

Those residents in west Felpham whose properties were damaged have set up an action group, as reported.

Cllr Ms Goldsmith said in a letter to parish and town councils: “Officers from the various agencies have been compiling a list of locations where flooding is known to have occurred.

“The next stage, starting next week, is the prioritisation of the list and to assign the primary authority responsible for the investigation.

“I want this investigation to be as transparent as possible.

“In addition to the investigation, we are looking at how we can work better with communities to assist with drainage management, response to flooding, and to assist in making communities more resilient.”

She urged parish councils to consider bidding for cash from the community flood fund. Its main focus is to identify and help with the clearing of riparian ditches. But bids can be made for any drainage problem. Details from FRM@westsussex.gov.uk

The National Flood Forum has also been asked to help to prepare action plans for the affected areas.

But this was unlikely to start before the end of this month because of flooding elsewhere.