By Tristan Harris Wednesday 07 August 2013 Updated: 16/08 10:49
WORK will be carried out in Bromsgrove in the coming weeks to alleviate the town centre's long-term flooding problem.
It follows a meeting organised by Coun Rory Shannon last Friday (August 3).
He was joined by fellow Labour members Coun Sean Shannon, Coun Chris Bloore and Coun Margaret Buxton, Bromsgrove District Council's chief executive Kevin Dicks, an Environment Agency representative and Fiona Macintosh from North Worcestershire Water Management (NWMM).
Among the works taking place in the next few weeks will be the removal of vegetation from the Spadesbourne Brook at Charford Road to help the flow of the water and an investigation into flood defences in Sidemoor.
Coun Rory Shannon had drawn up a list of 20 hotspots in and around the town centre, which were proned to flooding.
They included stretches of the Spadesbourne Brook, such as at Charford Road, by the bus station and by All Saints Church.
Other areas featured in the list were The Strand, the A38 island near Morrisons and King George Close in Sidemoor.
He said Friday's meeting was very positive and it was great that action was being taken.
"The working group has already come up with some solutions."
He said plant growth around the waterways had got out of control and that it was decided at the meeting that naturalisation (leaving vegetation to grow naturally) was not right for certain areas - as well as looking a mess, it also added to flooding problems.
"Also, over the last 15 years or so, the river beds have been allowed to narrow.
"We have to accept that these waterways are also storm drains, and should be maintained as such.
"When you have a fast-flowing brook, it needs the space to flow.
"There are other issues with storm drains that are not up to a standard to cope with heavy rain."
An Environment Agency spokesperson said it would be working with the Highways Department to gain access to Spadesbourne Brook along Charford Road.
"This will allow us to cut back the vegetation along the brook which will help the flow of the water.
"We will also be speaking to landowners asking them to ensure they maintain their land along the river to ensure the water can flow freely.”
A Severn Trent Water representative was unable to make last Friday's meeting, but a spokesperson said that regular investigations were carried out into the sewer system to ensure there were no blockages or ongoing problems.
“We will be working closely with the Environment Agency and the local council, which has responsibility for dealing with flooding from rivers, streams and road drains.
“We’re aware flooding is distressing and we will do everything we can to help prevent this from affecting the local community in Bromsgrove."
She added the company would be happy to share its findings with the other members of the joint working group.
Mr Dicks said the meeting was extremely useful and informative.
"The teams (NWWM and EA) have now gone away to put together a proposed programme for improvements on both the council and Environment Agency managed and privately owned sections of watercourse through the town which should hopefully address some of the issues."
Coun Rory Shannon added he felt, previously, communication between the different responsible organisations was poor, but hopefully now that would improve.
The working group is due to meet again soon for a progress report and to discuss the next stages.
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