No volunteers for Halton flood plan

A previous public meeting about flooding at The Centre in Halton on November 28.
A previous public meeting about flooding at The Centre in Halton on November 28.

An Emergency Plan developed in Halton after Storm Desmond was not put into action because no-one volunteered to help deliver it, a meeting in the village heard.

Residents met at The Centre@Halton on Tuesday December 19 to discuss setting up a Flood Action Group, supported by Halton Parish Council.

Around 20 residents, mostly those who had experienced flooding following heavy rainfall on November 22, attended the meeting to find out more about how they could help.

Peter Lambson gave out copies of the Emergency Plan that had been developed in Halton in March 2016 following Storm Desmond in December 2015.

The plan is built around a community contact scheme, and lists The Centre@Halton as the principle village shelter, potentially providing light, heat and meals in an emergency situation.

The United Reformed Church in High Road, and Halton Mill are also listed as shelters.

The plan lists key contacts in the event of flooding incidents, and advice and guidance about what to do during a flood.

An equipment and resources inventory has been compiled but is not detailed in the plan, and the list also identifies the equipment that requires specialist training or skill to operate.

The inventory is maintained separately by a nominated keeper who is resident in Halton.

Community Contacts are aware of the residents with particular skills that they can call on for different situations, the plan states.

But Coun Kevin Frea, who represents Halton on Lancaster City Council, said: “Unfortunately (it) could not be put in to action on November 22 because no-one had volunteered to help deliver it, though lots of residents came out to help on the night, nothing was pre organised.

“We need a team of volunteers willing to be contacted in the event of a flood to help with road signs, sandbags and at the designated emergency centres.

“Complaints were made about residents paving over gardens, driving fast through floodwater and builders flushing building materials down drains, all of which contributed to making the flooding worse.”

There is due to be a further public meeting in Halton in January with all of the relevant agencies to follow up the actions they promised at a meeting in November.

Charles Ainger, a retired drainage engineer who lives in Halton is willing to work with the County Council on their promised survey of the drainage in Halton.