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Chairman’s update – March 2020 – Flooding

The biggest issue in the parish at the time of writing was flooding. Although we largely survived Storm Dennis on 16th February and the intense rain of 5th March, the earlier Storm Ciara on 9th February caused widespread flooding in Five Oak Green (Nortons Way, Sychem Place, and properties along the main road and in the village centre, being among the worst affected) and Alders Road in Capel. There was an extended discussion on this at the council meeting on 24th February in which many residents took part. CPC has also distributed a letter in the affected areas of the parish. Below is an extract from it:

“It is clear that many residents, some still trying to recover from the damage caused to their homes, are struggling to understand why the flooding happened, and identify ways to protect themselves in the future. In response to our pressure, TWBC has finally published information about how to apply for flood recovery grants at http://www.tunbridgewells.gov.uk/residents/news/website-news-articles/2020/february/flood-recovery-scheme
It seems that not all the authorities who have a duty to investigate may be aware of the scale of the flooding here in Capel. It would be helpful if people whose homes (not garages/gardens) were affected could report this to both KCC and TWBC.

There are three reasons for this:
1) As Lead Local Flood Authority for the county, Kent County Council has a duty to investigate flood incidents as detailed within Section 19 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010.
2) Depending on the outcome of their investigation, KCC are best placed to hold other authorities, such as Southern Water, to account for mistakes made.
3) TWBC may be able to help residents to access government grant schemes for flood defences or to help uninsured people, provided certain criteria are met. One of these criteria is that a certain number of properties are affected.

Please copy the Capel Parish Council clerk into any correspondence: clerk@capelpc.co.uk so that the parish council is also aware of the full extent of the problem; this will help us in trying to co-ordinate representations being made to the responsible authorities.”

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