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HDC talks on flooding

Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) is continuing its investigation of the flooding events in
December 2020. A Task & Finish Group of HDC Councillors has been established to explore the
reasons for the range of flooding issues experienced in homes and businesses across the District
and what measures are required to mitigate the occurrence and impacts of future events.

Meetings with representatives of the impacted communities were held in early January to gather
direct feedback on the events. This gathered community intelligence will inform ongoing
discussions with the key statutory agencies, including Cambridgeshire County Council,
Environment Agency and Anglian Water.

Councillor Tysoe, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel (Customers and Partnerships)
who is leading the review, said: “The flooding had a tremendous impact on Huntingdonshire’s
residents and businesses. While the scale of those events was unusual and not seen since 1998,
the likelihood of future similar events is very real, and everyone must be well informed and best
prepared to reduce the impacts. I will ensure this review aims to identify how water management
can be proactively controlled and, most importantly, how communities can be supported to be
ready and able to respond.

“I am very grateful for the community responses that we have received, and these will be
extremely helpful moving forward as we tackle future impacts with our key partners engaging in
this review.”

A review session has already been held with Cambridgeshire County Council regarding its duties
on surface water, highways, and emergency response. As well as exploring the measures being
put in place regarding roads maintenance, active monitoring, management of drainage and
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watercourses, we also looked at opportunities for enhancing advice and support towards
establishing more localised flood groups at a community level.

The next stage of the review is to work with the Environment Agency, exploring its responsibilities
and activities around river water controls, catchment management, the robustness of flood
predictions and how flood warnings and preparedness advice reaches communities. Anglian
Water will also be engaged regarding utilities and foul water arrangements.

The findings of the Task & Finish group will be reported through the Council’s Overview &
Scrutiny Panel (Customers and Partnerships) with recommendations expected in May 2021.

Source:  HDC Press Release 11th March 2021