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Flood forum events in Kendal and Ambleside

Storm Desmond flooding in Kendal Credit: ITV Border

People affected by flooding in Kendal and Ambleside are being invited to attend Flood Forum events next week to share their experiences.

The events are organised by Cumbria County Council, working alongside the Environment Agency, and are the first stage in the formal process of establishing how and why properties and businesses flooded and what could potentially be done to prevent flooding, or mitigate its impact, in future.

Attendees will be asked exactly what happened in terms of where the water came from, how it entered the property, its depth and other details. Alongside data already held, this property level information will help to build a highly detailed picture of what happened and why.

The information is collated and used to develop a report and recommendations for future action that could minimise the risk or impact of future flooding. Local communities are fully consulted on the contents of these reports, and the recommendations, prior to final publication. Once agreed the reports can be used by communities and agencies as the basis for applications for funding to allow schemes to be implemented. Working with the Environment Agency we aim to share draft reports with local communities for comment by early summer.

The details for the events are:

• Kendal, Town Hall, 14 March, 2.30pm - 8.00pm

• Ambleside, Kelsick Hall, 16 March, 2.00pm – 6.00pm

As well as providing information, attendees will also be able to find out more from a range of organisations, who will be providing advice and guidance on funding, insurance, flood prevention equipment and flood support registration.

“The key to improving our flood resilience in the future is to learn from the events of this winter and tap into local knowledge. We’ve visited around 100 communities already and this next round of flood forums will give local people an opportunity to shape the future of flood risk management in Cumbria.”

– Kath Evans, Environment Agency Flood Risk Manager

Council looking into A595 improvements

A595. Credit: ITV Border

Cumbria County Council say they are carrying out a feasibility study, into how the A595 road can be improved.

Two women died after an accident on the road on Tuesday 23 February.

Carlisle's Conservative MP John Stevenson has called on the council to make a serious case to central government, to improve the road.

We did make improvements, we've improved the A66 through Highways England.

These are major schemes and it is only the government who can fund these schemes.

Kendal is wanting another bypass - these have to be funded by government - Cumbria County Council does not have that kind of funding."

– Cllr Keith Little

Council tax in Cumbria set to rise 2%

Credit: ITV Border

Council tax in Cumbria is set to rise by two percent in the coming financial year.

The County Council is having to find £33m of savings and says the rise is necessary in order to protect frontline services.

In the future the government are going to require councils to fund services locally. So we will not be able to afford funding services locally unless we put Council tax up year on year."

– Patricia Bell, Cumbria County Council


WATCH: repair work underway at Victoria Bridge in Kendal

Divers have been working in the River Kent carrying out repairs to the foundation of Victoria Bridge in Kendal.

Cumbria County Council are hoping to reopen the bridge as soon as possible.

Engineers have been placing 'grout bags' under the damaged bridge pier to provide support for the bridge above.

The bags fill the void created by flood water scouring away the bridge’s foundation.

The video shot by the dive team shows the work that has been done.

Heavy rain has caused river levels to rise and made working in the water unsafe for divers, and technical problems at the plant supplying the materials used in the repair, have meant the hoped for opening date has been pushed back into next week.

"It's deeply frustrating that factors outside of our control have hampered the speed of the repair.

"The divers have been doing a great job, but as river levels rise the speed of water flow increases and the visibility in the water drops, making it unsafe for us to work in the water.

"We can't give a definite date yet when we'll be able to open the bridge for traffic, but as soon as we can we'll let people know."

– Nick Raymond, Senior Manager - Network Management
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