Council “committed” to managing flooding across Borough

York Street flooded due to heavy rain 22 June 2023. Image: Bedford Borough Council

Bedford Borough Council said it remains “committed” to doing all it can to help local residents and businesses “manage and mitigate” the risk of flooding.

The council is marking this year’s Environment Agency’s (EA) Flood Action Week (20 – 26 November) with a series of social media posts to share information to “enhance local people’s understanding of flood risks” and “empower” them to take proactive measures.

A council spokesperson said: “Today’s focus is on ‘know your flood risk.’ Living near a river or brook is not the sole determinant of flood risk; surface water flooding can occur with wet ground or heavy rainfall.

“Local residents and businesses can visit to learn more about long-term flood risk and gain access to helpful information and advice, such as how to create a personal and community flood plan.”

Council data shows that 5,834 properties in the borough are at risk of surface water flooding, and 4,097 are at risk from river flooding.

The spokesperson added: “We urge residents, businesses, schools, and communities to be aware of the specific flood risks they may encounter.

“Understanding responsibilities is crucial and enables everyone to contribute to mitigating and influencing future flood risks, thereby building resilience in our homes and communities.

“Additionally, following the MET Office on social media, checking their website, and signing up for weather warnings, along with registering for flood alerts from the Environment Agency, are essential steps in staying informed and prepared,” they said.

At the EA’s launch, the Floods Minister, Rebecca Pow, said: “I know how devastating flooding can be to homes and businesses.

“There are some simple steps we can all take to be better prepared should flooding occur such as checking your flood risk online and signing up for flood warnings and I would urge everyone to be proactive.

“Taking steps to prepare for flooding can reduce the chance of losing treasured items.

“People can also plan who can support them or which vulnerable family members or neighbours may need help during a flood,” she said.

The EA said research showed that taking steps to prepare for flooding can reduce the damage to homes and possessions by around 40 per cent.

More information can be found on the council’s Flood Risk Management webpages.

by John Guinn
Local Democracy Reporter

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