Bromsgrove Warned to Prepare for Climate Change by Tackling Flooding
Bromsgrove must take seriously the risk of flooding to avoid even worse disruption for residents in the face of global warming, a working group of Bromsgrove District Council has warned.
The warning came just before the historic UN climate change report issued this week which predicts increasingly extreme weather across the globe. Flooding, heatwaves and droughts are likely to become more common and more intense as a result of global warming, according to the International Panel on Climate Change. The effects will be felt everywhere including here in the UK.
Start warnings over the impact of climate change have been issued locally here in Bromsgrove too. A landmark report on flooding was presented to Bromsgrove District Council's Cabinet meeting in July, which warned of the potentially devastating impacts of climate change if action is not taken to better manage the risk of flooding across the district.
A special flooding working group was set up last summer and has met regularly over the last twelve months, hearing evidence from all the key agencies responsible for managing flood risk in the community. These include Worcestershire County Council, North Worcestershire Water Management, Bromsgrove District Council and Severn Trent Water.
The working group called on Bromsgrove District Council to invest additional resources in flooding prevention measures including keeping natural water courses clear of blockages. It also called for greater transparency over the frequency of drain cleaning and more publicity for the support available to local residents in the event of a flood.
The group was chaired by Bromsgrove Liberal Democrat Leader Cllr Rob Hunter who was inspired to set up the group after listening to residents' concerns in Lickey End. Councillor Hunter said: "I was hearing from more and more residents who were concerned flooding was becoming more common and felt the council wasn't doing enough to tackle the problem. After 12 months of scrutinising the issue with colleagues on the flooding working group, I realised this wasn't just a problem in Lickey End, but across the whole district. I urge the Conservative Cabinet to implement our recommendations in full as soon as possible. We know climate change is upon us, we must act now to protect local communities.'
The Cabinet is due to report back to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee in the autumn with its proposals in response to the evidence presented by the flooding task group.
Bromsgrove's Liberal Democrats are continuing to push for greater action by the Council to tackle climate change locally, with Cllr Siobhan Robinson submitting the motion to declare a Climate Emergency. She has lobbied more recently for the climate change working group to be given more power to influence change.