300X300 south kesteven

20 March 2024

My name is Philip Swinton and I am the Health and Safety Manager at SKDC but also hold responsibility for Emergency Planning.

There was a joint meeting yesterday of the Environment Oversight and Scrutiny and Rural and Communities oversight and Scrutiny Committees and one of the actions that came from that is the reason for this email.

We know that a number of communities were impacted and many more on the verge of seeing significant impact from flooding and I have been asked to share some possible options that homeowners and those in areas of known risk could employ to protect their homes.

SKDC does have a responsibility to support Council tenants and we will always make every effort to support more vulnerable residents, and the wider community but we are not the lead flood authority and without wishing to sound matter of fact on such an emotive subject we have to accept the fact that it would not be possible for SKDC to support every resident in time should we see significant flooding events in the future and so we wanted to provide some information and support on resilience and preparedness.

To that end I have added some links below to possible flood defence solutions that are available and would ask that you share these with other members of the parish. They range in price and there are a number of options available ranging from aqua sacs, which are a type of sandbag which fill using flood waters (these are also useful should you have a water leak or burst pipe) through to door flood guards and full flood resistant doors. There are of course numerous providers and I list these as an example of what is available.

You will also see below a link to the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum (LRF) and the Flood alert system operated by the EA. Many of you may be signed up to the flood alert and it is a very useful tool for advanced warning so I would encourage everyone who is not to sign up to this. The LRF site in times of emergency is a great site for up to date information on areas of concern and gives a wider picture of the situation to keep people updated but more than that it gives advice on being prepared and some possible steps that we can all take to protect ourselves, our property and community and I would again encourage everyone to look at this and use the site.

I know this offer has been taken by some Parish Councils, but I wanted to reiterate the offer made by LCC colleagues and SKDC to support the creation of a Parish emergency plan. This is not just flood related but would build resilience and enhance the community ability to respond to certain situations while other resource is being mobilised and could help reduce the impact on the community. We fully appreciate that this is not the role of the community, and we are not suggesting you replace the Emergency service or any other partner, this is purely to provide some resilience in the community. Something we hope is never needed but it is better to have and never need than need and not have.

If this is something you would be interested in, then could I ask that you talk to/ include your Ward Members in and ask them to contact me, This will make it easier to organise. We would like to support everyone but to do that in a timely manner we would look to combine these meetings with several PCs at a time. The plan template is generic in its form and the plans would follow a similar path, local tweaks aside, for each area.

Finally, and apologies for this long email. For all those Parish or Town Councils who already hold an emergency plan thank you for your engagement with this. I know the recent flooding raised a question with some around the activation of your plans and I would like to let you know that you do not need to wait for LCC, SKDC or anyone else to declare an emergency or tell you that you can activate this plan. That plan is yours and if you feel the situation requires it then you can activate the measures you see fit to support your community. I would ask that you let SKDC know so that we can support should it be required but you do not need anyone’s permission in an emergency.

I would also ask that anyone who suffers internal or external flooding ensures they report this to LCC. This information helps them build the picture of impact and could add weight to the provision of flood improvements in the area, if the full impact is not know this could be missed.

I hope this has been useful and we look forward to working with you.

Kind regards

uPVC Flood Doors | Lakeside Flood Solutions

Flood Barrier | Home & Business | Stormguard Floodplan

AET Flood Defence – AQUA-SAC®

Better Prepared | Lincolnshire Resilience Forum

Sign up for flood warnings - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)