On Friday, 26th November, I held the first Runnymede and Weybridge Flood Conference in the constituency. Flooding, in its many forms, is one of the biggest risks affecting Runnymede and Weybridge, and tackling this was one of my first pledges to residents when elected in 2019.
The conference brought together all levels of Government, with key note speech from the Flooding Minister Rebecca Pow, and contributions from a wide range of stakeholders including the Environment agency, community flood groups and business and charity organisations who support flood resilience work. We heard of the progress being made on the Surrey Flood Alleviation Scheme and of the ongoing work to ensure residents are protected and prepared should a flooding event occur. A copy of the agenda is attached below for information.
Above all we need to ensure that residents at risk of flooding know how to access information and support. For details of how to assess your own risk of flooding, and who to contact in case of a flooding incident, please visit www.drbenspencer.org.uk/flooding-contact-information
We heard amazing examples of the efforts of local residents to protect themselves and their neighbours from the risks of flooding. From early warnings, to practical advice on how to protect essentials and prioritise actions should flooding occur, it is clear many of our residents are also experts in flood resilience, borne out of necessity. It is vital we can not only share this experience and best practice across communities, but also be able to easily share information and advice from agencies responsible for flood resilience. I am therefore delighted all parties agreed to support the creation of a new Flood Groups Forum. My hope is this will lead to greater protection and support for residents, and a streamlined response should flood issues occur.
An invite to join the Forum has also been extended to Thames Water who were unable to make the conference. I have already written to them requesting a meeting to discuss how they plan to improve the quality of our waterways, as required under the new Environment Act 2021 which received Royal Assent this month.
Further information regarding the conference, including video and a Q&A from the event will be published here shortly.