Churchdown must have plan to deal with devastating floods

Churchdown must be more resilient if it is threatened by devastating floods in the future, councillors warn.

 And calls have been made to make more sandbags available to residents to allay panic over future disasters after communities were deluged after prolonged heavy rain in 2007.

A number of flooding issues were highlighted during a debate on emergency planning at Churchdown Parish Council.

Marilyn Cox, from the Gloucestershire Rural Community Council, visited councillors to discuss ways to prepare for a disaster in the village.

Council members were asked what one key thing was needed to ensure Churchdown was more resilient if floods hit.

Councillor Kay Berry said: “Looking back to the major floods in 2007 my phone didn’t stop ringing with parishioners asking for sandbags – making sandbags locally available would be great.”

The parish council has a store of 100 empty sandbags which can be given to residents whenever there is a risk of flooding – but they would have to travel to the Tewkesbury Borough Council headquarters in order to fill them with sand.

Parish council chairman Councillor Bill Whelan said the major difficulty in 2007 was the lack of sand in the parish and Churchdown became completely cut-off.

“Since 2007 people are nervous and being able to give them some reassurance that sand will be available within the parish would help put them at ease and make them feel more confident.”

Members also said they would like to see the council offices in Parton Road made a central co-ordination point.

“Making sure everyone in the community knows the parish council is somewhere they can turn to in an emergency is really important,” said Councillor Loraine Yates.