Action plan for flooding events

Residents and community groups are being invited to play their part in a flooding-related Community Agreement for Morpeth.

The Morpeth Flood Action Group (MFAG) has been working on an initiative to formalise how large bodies, local organisations, businesses and volunteer members of the public will work together throughout the various stages of a flood event (pre, during and post).

And in partnership with the Town Council, an open evening has been scheduled for Tuesday in the Town Hall so people can find out more about the agreement.

The final document will outline the roles and responsibilities and what residents can and can not expect from the different organisations.

It will develop lines of communication with the goal of improving community resilience and involvement, as well as flood recovery.

Community Agreements are not a substitute for Flood Action Plans and statutory requirements or responsibilities, but they do help to ensure that residents and businesses are best served if they are affected by flooding.

MFAG Chairman Alan Bell said: “We have been working on this project for the last two years and are now looking to make progress on the agreement itself with the support of Morpeth Town Council.

“Community organisations have been invited to the open evening and we hope that members of the public come along as we’re looking for volunteers, with the intention of having someone in every street reporting flood information for their area to a central hub.

“It would be a two-way process as the team at the hub would also pass on information to the volunteers.

“We believe it’s important to have such a system in place because the messages from the Environment Agency’s Floodline and radio bulletins are not local enough and it will hopefully avoid creating any confusion among residents – if people know exactly what’s going on, they can respond accordingly.

“Hopefully, we will be launching the first report in our flood insurance survey at the event. In addition, the survey’s shopping voucher winners will be contacted in the next week.”

The large bodies involved in the agreement should include Northumberland County Council, the Environment Agency, Northumbria Police, housing associations, Northumbrian Water and other utility providers.

The open evening will take place in the Corn Exchange between 4pm and 7pm.