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.”
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."
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."
Kendal Town Council is calling for a bypass after the town's traffic has been badly affected by the closure of a bridge after the floods.Read the full story ›
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."
Today is the deadline for people to give their views on how Cumbria County Council can cut £37m from their budget in the next financial year.
The authority is proposing to make savings by closing fire stations and cutting five million pounds from its adult social care bill.
A new footpath and shuttle-bus to get pupils to school on a flood-hit Lake District road opened this morning.Read the full story ›
The leader of Cumbria County Council has welcomed the news that the government has pledged £40 million to help repair some of the county's flood hit roads.
However, Stuart Young has said the total repair bill across the county will run into hundreds of millions of pounds.
Our initial estimates indicate that the cost of repairing all the infrastructure which has been damaged by the recent flooding in Cumbria alone, will run into hundreds of millions of pounds.
This includes roads, bridges and schools, but we welcome this announcement of an initial allocation towards the cost of repairing the A591, Eamont Bridget and Pooley Bridge.
We will continue to work closely with the government and their agent Highways England, to ensure that these vital communications links are restored as soon as possible."
A full range of funding schemes for those who've been affected by flooding has now been put in place by Cumbria County Council.
Six separate flood schemes have been set up to support households and businesses, with a seventh scheme to fund household protection due to launch on January 4th.
These flood schemes include:
- £500 for every household that has been flooded
- Flood resilience grants of up to £5000 (launching January 4th)
- Council Tax relief scheme for flood properties
- Business Rates relief scheme for flooded businesses
- Business grants of up to £10,000 for businesses affected by flooding
- Funding for households via the Cumbria Community Foundation
- Funding for voluntary organisations via the Cumbria Community Foundation
For further information on these grants and how to apply for them, visit the Cumbria County Council website, here.
We seem to be having all four seasons at once this week - but Cumbria County Council's highways department says it's well prepared for winter.
Salt and grit stocks are ready for treating the roads - and this year the council is trialling new computer equipment that controls the gritting operation from an office. Fiona Marley Paterson reports.