Cllr Phil Bateman, Chair of the Review,
introduced the report. Cllr Bateman explained that the review was
undertaken in response to a period of heavy rainfall in May 2018
which caused flash flooding in parts of Wolverhampton.
Cllr Bateman advised that Scrutiny Board
agreed to set up the review to investigate the Council’s
response to the flooding and effectiveness of the emergency
planning arrangements. The overall aim of the review was to make
recommendations to improve the response of the Council to future
extreme weather-related events.
There were specific concerns about the
communications problems experienced over the weekend when key
people could not be contacted by local councillors for advice and
information needed to respond to calls from residents affected by
The work of the review was supported by Dr
Chris Bradley, University of Birmingham, who gave detailed evidence
about issues of managing flood water in an urban setting.
Cllr Bateman commented on concerns expressed
about the proposed changes gulley cleaning programme and the
importance of drain clearance to reduce the level of flooding. Cllr
Bateman commented on the responsibilities of Severn Trent Water
(STW) and expressed concern about the delay in providing a response
to present evidence to the review about the work done before and
during the flooding incident. Cllr Bateman wanted assurance that
STW would be monitored to check that it is meeting their legal
responsibilities in respect of flood management work.
The Board welcomed the report and thanked Cllr
Bateman and other members of the review group for their work. The
panel commented on the importance of having a reliable
communication system to deal with emergency situations. The Chair
invited John Denley, Director of Public Health, to respond to the
findings and recommendations in the review report.
The Director of Public Health outlined a range
of changes to local emergency resilience arrangements in response
to the issues highlighted during the review. The work was being
done as part of a wider review of emergency planning and resilience
responses. The Director Public Health outlined the key stages in
response to an emergency incident and changes made to the out of
hours cover arrangements. The new arrangements were tested, and the
findings used to feed into a much wider review of the service.
The Board discussed the problems caused to
homes as result of flooding and concern about the risks arising due
to contaminated water entering homes. The Board discussed the issue
of planning regulations and consideration was given to how flood
risk will be managed when assessing applications for new
The Board highlighted the importance of
learning from the experience of neighbouring local authorities who
are likely to have similar problems in managing flood water. The
Board commented on the important community leader role of
Councillors and the role that they can have in responding to calls
from the public.
The Board commented on the responsibility of
Public Health to monitor possible risk of groundwater contamination
as a result of flooding and the importance ...
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