Local council takes direct action to help residents clean up
Now that the floodwaters have begun to recede, Malvern Hills District Council has swung into action to help flooded households recover from the heart breaking effects of flooding.
With partners from the Environment Agency, Worcestershire Regulatory Services and the county council Highways Unit, the council has started the clean up across the district.
While the government has announced various grants to help households, businesses and farmers recover and prepare better for future flood events, the district council has also dipped into its own reserves to provide a £250 hardship grant to help flooded households over the first few days before other help cuts in.
But for most people it is the practical help of recovery that is most welcome.
The Lenchford Inn is set in an enviable location on the bank of the River Severn at Shrawley alongside The Lenchford Meadow Caravan Park. The recent extreme flooding affected both businesses and, as the waters rose, co- owner Ian Hadley, telephoned MHDC for help. Despite difficult conditions the council was able to deliver sandbags within two hours to help protect the property. However the river won in the end, causing flooding to the cellars and ground floor, and the Inn became an island.
But help didn't stop there. As the flood waters receded the district council organised for the septic tanks to be emptied, skips to be available to deal with the damaged goods, and even for the car park to be jetted clean. Ian Hadley,said
" We've been delighted with the help and support from the council and how quickly they responded. It's been invaluable in helping us to get back on our feet."
John Benball, owner of the adjacent caravan park said "The support from the council has been fantastic and we're very grateful"
Back in Upton upon Severn many homes previously at risk of flooding stayed dry, thanks to the new flood defences installed three years ago with funding from the Environment Agency and MHDC. But residents at East Waterside, on the opposite bank, don't yet have flood protection and suffered from serious flooding for the second winter in succession.
Ironically, funding has been agreed for property level protection for eight properties there and work was due to start in April 2014. Most households had to evacuate their homes for several days, although one owner was determined to stay despite everything. As part of the district council's recovery support, Gordon Morris, Street Scene Manager, has organised for skips and dehumidifiers to be provided where householders have been unable to obtain insurance cover.
Derek Coakley of Rose Cottage said:
"The support from the council has been brilliant and very much appreciated."
Alan Green of Bridge End House, also suffered particularly devastating flooding and benefited from the council's help.
Alan Green said:
"Thanks to Gordon and his team we're able to begin the long process of getting back to our homes – we really appreciate the help from the council. With the flood protection measures planned for this summer, let's hope we've seen the end of this problem."