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13 May 2016

Keswick flood report to be discussed at public forum event

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The events are organised by Cumbria County Council, working alongside the Environment Agency. They are the latest stage in the formal process of reviewing how and why flooding occurred and how it might be prevented in future.

Alongside data already held, property level information gathered from local people has been collated into the draft report which provides a picture of what happened on the 5th and 6th of December 2015 and why it happened.

The report includes 22 recommended actions under the headings of community resilience, upstream management, strengthening defences and maintenance to help prevent or mitigate the impact of future flooding, including:
• Investigating the role bridges have to play in impacting local flood risk
• Investigating upstream flood risk management measures, such as the impact gravel management has on flood risk
• Reviewing the performance of existing flood scheme in Keswick, and considering the potential for new or improved flood defences
At the Flood Forum event local people will be able share their views on the draft report and recommendations with officials from the county council and the Environment Agency.

Once the final Flood Investigation Report is agreed they can be used by communities and agencies to inform, and contribute to, longer term plans for flood risk management in Cumbria.

Doug Coyle, Local Flood Resilience Manager for Cumbria County Council, said:

“It’s been a significant task by all agencies involved to pull together the information that forms the basis of this report and I’d like to thank local people who’ve taken the time to share their experiences and insights. That local knowledge is so important.

"The description of how Keswick flooded has clearly highlighted different areas that could be the focus of future flood defence work, but we need to hear local people’s views before we can move forward and agree a final report. I hope people will be able to attend the meetings and share their views, people can also comment online if they are unable to attend.”

Kath Tanner, the Environment Agency’s Flood Recovery Manager, said:

“It’s really important we learn the lessons from December’s floods to identify what can be done to better protect Cumbria in future and reduce the local flood risk.
“These reports and community meetings provide opportunity for us to hear from those affected and make best use of local knowledge in directing future investment.
“Similar meetings will be held across the county and, although the reports focus on one community at a time, the information they contain will support the Cumbria Action Plan to provide a county-wide picture of flood risk and actions.
“By considering a wide range of options, from land management and flood storage upstream, to downstream flood defences and channel maintenance we can work together to make communities more resilient along the whole length of a river.”

The draft Flood Investigation Report is now published at http://www.cumbria.gov.uk/floods2015/floodforums.asp . Comments on the report can be emailed to LFRM@cumbria.gov.uk or sent in writing to Local Flood Resilience Manager, Environment and Community Services, Parkhouse Building, Carlisle, Baron Way, CA6 4SJ.

People affected by flooding in Keswick are being invited to attend a Flood Forum event next week (17 May, full details in Note for Editors) to give their views on a draft report into the flooding in the town and recommendations to help prevent flooding.