Flooding inquiry calls for evidence

Flooding in the Willows, February 2014
Flooding in the Willows, February 2014

An inquiry into the response to flooding that hit Aylesbury during February 2014 is calling upon residents to give evidence.

Bucks County Council’s Transport Environment and Communities Select Committee will hear evidence on Tuesday September 8 from residents whose neighbourhoods were under water, and also from the agencies involved in the response.

Willows flooding, February 2014

Willows flooding, February 2014

The committee has also created an online survey (link here) for them to feed their experiences into the inquiry.

Unprecedented severe weather in December 2013 and February 2014 caused flooding to more than 200 homes across the county and disrupted roads and transport.

A stream that burst its banks flooded parts of the Willows estate in Aylesbury, while an overflowing River Thames sent water flooding into areas of Marlow, Bourne End and Medmenham, and rising groundwater at Hughenden Valley infiltrated foul sewers.

In the months following, the county council flood team carried out 17 different investigations, and supported residents to establish flood action groups.

Now the Select Committee wants to pull together evidence from some of these residents’ groups and from those involved in the multi-agency response to ensure lessons are learned, and all are well-prepared should another bout of severe weather bring similar flooding.

Councillor Patricia Birchley, who is chairing the inquiry, said: “Our flood team has already done an amazing amount of work since the flooding. But we need to ensure we have asked the right questions of all the right agencies to give us confidence that all partners are well prepared to work together to respond speedily and effectively.

“We want to hear from residents, and I’d urge them to feed into the inquiry using our online survey.”

Evidence given during the all-day select committee hearing, and details of the county council’s flood team actions, will be considered during the autumn and presented to the cabinet later in the year.