The flood resilience group is a sub group of Littleborough Civic Trust and was formed following the serious flood event in Littleborough on Boxing Day 2015. The aim of the group is to keep the people of Littleborough informed of all aspects of flood resilience and to provide refuge for anybody who may be unfortunate enough to need evacuation in the case of a future flood event. The group is mentored by a member of the National Flood Forum and has contact with other flood groups around the country to share advice and experiences.
On Wednesday 14th August the group were on Blackstone Edge in the general area known locally as High Peak or Lydgate working with the Environment Agency; Rochdale Council and River Ribble Trust, installing several water volume monitoring devices for run-off water from the moorland which ultimately ends up in Littleborough. Once the agencies are satified with the devices are correctly located and acheiving their intended purpose they will then hand them over to the group to monitor at regular intervals.
The Flood Group have now had further training, in the classroom and on site, to learn how to download data from the various measuring devices. This data is then uploaded to the relevant agencies who are building a model of the weather patterns so as to design the best flood defences for the area. It is intended that the Flood Group will take on resposibility for retrieval and uploading this data.
A further training session has now taken place on site with members of the Flood Group downloading data from the logging stations (supervised by a representative from Liverpool University who are collating the data) The group now have a dedicated laptop with relevant software installed to enable them to now take over the responsibility of data collection. Gratefull thanks to Civic Trust member Daniel Ames for his donation of the laptop to the group.
Members of the group visited York to attend a conference hosted by the National Flood Forum. There were various speakers from different flood related organizations discussing topics such as:- The future of property protection, Riprian management and drainage, Surface water management, The role of communities and organisations in a changing world, Development - Planning not to flood, Catchment area management.
We have not stood still during the Covid-19 crisis. We are having weekly Zoom/Skype meetings with many other flood groups around the country, hosted by the National Flood Forum. The theme (and what seems to be a common frustration nationally) throughout has been that local authority planning departments are unable to retain staff; thus understaffed and that planning applications are not given due diligence.
It is becoming apparent though that this somewhat stems from the Government's housing quota imposed on Local Authorities to reach the said quotas. All flood groups including us are beginning to formulate a strategy to take things forward at a national level.