Funds will be used to clear blocked ditch


A FUNDING boost will allow flooding group to protect homes.

The West Felpham Flood Action Assembly (WFFAA) has been awarded £8,500 from West Sussex County Council’s Operation Watershed.

The cheque was presented to the group by Felpham county councillor Graham Jones.

Cllr Jones said “This must be one of the more pleasant tasks in being a county councillor handing out a cheque to such a deserving cause.

“I must applaud WFFAA for the initiative shown in getting this scheme off the ground and I wish them all the success for the future.”

The money will be used to clear a stretch of ditch which runs between Wedgwood Road and Bereweeke Road.

Jane Smeaton, chair of WFFAA, said the group was very excited about the award.

“We put a lot of thought into our bid and see the award as a vote of confidence in WFFAA.

“This ditch provides extra capacity for the surface water drainage system, but over the years the ditch has become overgrown, significantly reducing its profile and its capacity; in June, 2012, this exacerbated the flooding.”

Jane, who’s home was devastated by the flooding, said the works would not have been possible without the funding.

“The cost of disposing of the debris removed would otherwise have been prohibitive.

“WFFAA has received many comments about the poor state of the ditches in the area and we hope that through this work we will also highlight individual responsibility for 
ditch maintenance,” she said.

The group wants to make the clear-up a community event and has appealed for any volunteers to get in touch.

They will also be holding an open afternoon to let the community know about their ongoing efforts.

This will take place on Saturday, September 21, from 1.30pm until 4.30pm at the St Mary’s Centre in Grassmere Close.

Operation Watershed is an £8.25m commitment by the county council to invest in highway drainage and environmental improvements in areas worst affected by floods.

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