Please note item 3 Neighbourhood Watch. If you are interested in joining or organising this community group please email in the first instance.
Notes of the Public Meeting 2 February 2021
Attending; Parish Councillors John Broom, Phil Reeve, Dave Swinborne, Will Mack, Pat Scowen, Richard Atkins, County and District Councillor Vic Thomson, Clerk Janet Rogers and 22 members of the public
Apologies; Parish Councillor Craig Neave and Mrs Caroline Ellis
Residents from Mill Road, The Green, Leaches Turn and Ferry Road gave detailed examples of how their properties have been affected by flooding, focussing particularly on the most recent flooding event which began just before Christmas Day 2020. It was established that flood water is linked to a variety of sources.
On Mill Road, the highest point of the village, the problems arise during prolonged periods of heavy rain when the drainage/sewer system fails to cope with the volume of water running off the land to the rear of the properties to the East of Mill Road and pours downhill along Mill Road towards the Green; this flood water also streams into the driveways of the properties on the west side of the road.
The Green suffers from flooding on two counts: the water mentioned previously continuing downhill along the Green where many of the roadside ditches are either blocked or filled in. The overflow runs down the driveways on the north side of The Green where the properties are below the road level. The drainage system is unable to cope and in one case results in raw sewage bubbling up through the manhole cover behind the garage.
The second problem on the Green is at the rear of the properties on the north side. The ditch that runs the length of the Green between the gardens of these properties and the adjacent field should carry water down towards The Street. Some of these ditches have not been maintained and some have been filled in. These blockages cause the water to flood nearby gardens and outbuildings; when the ground is already saturated, the water then stagnates in the gardens.
The water that does permeate to the corner of the street via all the avenues mentioned then accumulates on the corner as there is nowhere for it to go.
Properties along the west side of the Street also suffer from run off from the fields to the rear.
Wheatfen, Coldham Carnser, Leaches Turn are impacted by rising tides and blocked dykes preventing the tide from draining.
On Ferry Road the problem for properties at the lower end are impacted by floodwater caused by both heavy rainfall and rising tides. During periods of heavy rainfall, the water runs down Ferry Road. The ditches already full from rising tides are unable to carry the water away and properties are flooded. The ditches and marshes are permanently saturated unable to drain before the next tide comes in.
Dan Hoare mentioned the link to the Broadland Futures Initiative. The information in the online event space Broadland Futures Initiative (virtualeventspace.io) is helpful, particularly the video on the virtual wall about dredging. There is also the opportunity for individuals to respond to the BFI online consultation.
Councillor Thomson explained the role of the County Flood Management Strategy. Made up of members from the County Council, Broads Authority and Environment Agency, the Scrutiny Committee is chaired by Lord Dannatt.
Action – As Surlingham has diverse flooding issues eight volunteers offered to form a group to map the problems, identify the causes and possible solutions and report to the Scrutiny Committee. This will enable specific water management advice to be provided for those areas.
2 Emergency Plan
Due to time constraints this item will be discussed at the next Parish Council Meeting.
3 Neighbourhood Watch
Due to an increase in antisocial behaviour residents had shown interest in setting up a neighbourhood watch group. The administrator for the South Norwich Group was willing to meet with two representatives from the village to explain what is involved in running a group. Details will be posted on Surlingham.org for those interested to contact the Parish Clerk initially.