Call for more flood wardens in Matlock after successful first winter for volunteer initiative

Matlock Town Council has issued a fresh appeal for volunteer flood wardens as it looks back on another winter when storms threatened to overrun crucial infrastructure.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 5:09 pm

The scheme was set up in partnership with Derbyshire County Council and the Environment Agency in the wake of the devastating floods of 2019.

Wardens are tasked with monitoring river levels, flagging any emerging risks, and keep residents and businesses briefed on flood planning and response.

Councillor Steve Wain was the town’s first warden and said: “As spring moves ever closer, we should reflect on another very wet winter and make certain we learn from recent flooding in our town and become more resilient as a community.

Volunteer flood wardens can help by monitoring river levels and drainage points around the town centre.

“The new warden initiative worked well to prepare for storm Christoph. The storm passed without the more serious outcomes of earlier flooding events and we have learned from the first incident involving the new group.”

He added: “The town council is committed to creating a larger group of wardens in the area so if anybody is interested please contact us for further details.

The town centre was once again put in fear of flood in January due to high river levels and increased concerns of surface water runoff, and the incident has provoked renewed discussion about how to manage risk factors such as new built developments.

Coun Wain said: “Our council is committed to bring about the right development in the right locations, utilising the implementation of new environmental building techniques, taking account of historical flooding issues.

“We are supportive of new development on brownfield sites, but these must not put any additional pressures on our already stressed drainage systems.”

He added: “Currently our town is often having to deal with infrastructure repair, possibly caused by over development and lack of new infrastructure. Every couple of months, tankers are seen pumping raw sewage out of the sewers on Bakewell Road. This is not what we expect or should have to tolerate in the 21st century.

For more details about the warden scheme, go to www.matlock.gov.uk/floods.

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