Decision maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Councillor Martin Quaile, Cabinet Member for Environment, presented report E.36, detailing changes to the council’s policy regarding the provision of sandbags during flooding emergencies. Councillor Quaile said that, until recently, during periods of heavy flooding the council had endeavoured to provide manual assistance to householders who were either flooded or at risk of flooding. However, in providing this service, it had not always been possible to prioritise requests for assistance and in some cases not always possible to offer the help being sought. Councillor Quaile informed members that the provision of sandbags was a discretionary service. Conscious of the need to make reductions in the council’s workforce, he said that it was increasingly unlikely that the council would have the capacity to deliver sandbags to individual properties.
Councillor Quaile confirmed that at the last cross-party cabinet flood task group meeting the matter had been discussed and members had agreed that, having given due notice to the community, the council should withdraw its sandbag delivery service. He said that on this basis, the current policy required updating to clarify the council’s responsibilities and to consider the impact on the community. This would not, however, prevent the council from providing help to the elderly, vulnerable or disabled residents in certain circumstances.
Responding to concerns that during the flooding emergencies in 2007 the provision of sandbags had been an invaluable service and one that local residents had been extremely grateful for, Councillor Quaile said that he hoped the revised policy would assist in regulating the service and in managing expectations.
Strategic Director, Peter Hibberd, assured members that, in essence, nothing in practice would change and that the revised policy was a subtle realignment of the council’s commitment to providing assistance in times of flooding emergencies. He said that the levels of expectation that had been created by the existing policy had become increasingly difficult to deliver and that the revised policy offered a more realistic service. Cabinet noted the report and,
RESOLVED to agree the proposals set out in paragraphs 5.2 and 6 of report E.36
Publication date: 24/11/2011
Date of decision: 08/09/2011
Decided at meeting: 08/09/2011 - Cabinet