The next meeting of the Flood Forum is to be held on Friday 24 November 2017 at 10.30am until Noon in the Conference Room, Worplesdon Memorial Hall, Perry Hill, GU3 3RF.
Fairlands Doctors' Surgery
Burpham Court Farm
Worplesdon has been affected by serious localised flooding on an increasing number of occasions since 1968.
The Doctors’ Surgery, Fairlands Community Centre, the A320 (Woking Road), the A323 (Aldershot Road), the A322 (Worplesdon Road), various C roads within the parish and numerous properties have been repeatedly affected. In 2010, the A320 was closed on two successive days following accidents which occurred as a result of black ice.
The Parish Council, along with the local community,therefore, sought to resolve local flooding issues using an innovative, integrated approach.
Worplesdon Parish Council being the first tier of government closest to local residents and having gained Quality Parish Status in 2007 had the professionalism and ability to take a strong leadership role in response to community concerns, which originated in Jacobs Well. The Parish Council facilitated an initial meeting in 2005 to address the flooding issues in Jacobs Well. Subsequently, due to the success of that meeting, a Flood Forum was created comprising Anne Milton MP (Chair) and representatives from Worplesdon Parish Council, Surrey County Council, Guildford Borough Council, Surrey Wildlife Trust, Thames Water, the Environment Agency, JWRA (Jacobs Well Residents Association), FLGCA (Fairlands, Liddington Hall and Gravetts Lane Community Association), WSVA (Wood Street Village Association) and 2 local residents (retired engineers).
Strong leadership and management have been key to the exceptional success of the Forum, which ensures a professional and effective approach by sharing detailed local knowledge, identifying solutions and ensuring that issues are dealt with expeditiously and cost effectively.
The Flood Forum meets three times a year, which includes an annual walkabout to view ‘hands-on’ the ‘hot spots’, inspect work done to date and discuss remedies for outstanding issues. An action plan detailing the outstanding issues, which organisations are responsible for the remedial works and a deadline for resolving the issue is updated and issued on a regular basis. Composite maps developed by Thames Water in conjunction with local representatives, showing the surface and foul water sewers and flooding ‘hot spots’ have been made available to the group. In addition, Guildford Borough Council has created annotated maps showing the location of ditches, ponds and grilles and has identified those parties responsible for maintaining them. All grilles in the Borough have since been catalogued and maintenance prioritised to ensure that the risk of flooding is minimized.
Since the inception of the Forum a strong partnership approach has been forged to enable major works to be undertaken. With regards to highway drainage issues Guildford Borough Council and Surrey County Council have worked particularly closely to secure a good price with contractors.
There are nine commons within Worplesdon, eight of which are maintained by Surrey Wildlife Trust on behalf of Surrey County Council, the majority of which adjoin the highway. Where an issue relates to a common, Surrey Wildlife Trust, Guildford Borough Council and Surrey County Council work together to resolve drainage issues in a holistic way. All parties are required to undertake works using a co-ordinated, step by step approach to eliminate wasted effort and maximise work value. For instance ditches are cleared by the responsible party first, to enable the County Council to jet out the culverts, gullies and letter box drains, thereby ensuring that problems are fully resolved.
Members of the public with a concern about flooding are welcome to attend meetings of the Flood Forum.