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Following the flooding events of 2014 in Long Marston, Herts County Council (HCC) was engaged to investigate the flooding and produce an Investigation Report under Section 19 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. This and the accompanying technical assessment report can be found on the HCC website :-

https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/recycling-waste-and-environment/water/flood-investigations.aspx

At the same time, a Flood Working Party (FWP) was formed to look at the flooding issues across the Parish. The FWP which is Tring Rural Parish Council (TRPC) led, comprises :-

Peter Myrants (chair)

Malcolm Morgan

Keith Foster

John Kaye

Chris Hodges

and can be contacted at trpc.fwp@gmail.com

The FWP has been working closely with HCC since 2014 to explore options to try to mitigate flooding in Long Marston and surrounding areas. Whilst progress has often felt laboured over this period, there has been some recent progress and good news….

A public consultation meeting was held on18th July 2017 at Long Marston Village Hall, where HCC presented an Options report, produced as a result of further investigation by the Technical Consultant, following the initial Section 19 Flood Investigation Report.

An update was provided on all the options (to mitigate / reduce flood risk) explored in the report. Also, a timeline video was played of the flooding events of 7th February 2014, as simulated by a hydraulic model which has been constructed using a variety of amassed technical data and anecdotal information received from Parishioners.

Whilst the majority of options presented were not viable due to their high cost over benefit, HCC announced that they had been successful in their bid for funding from a new government Natural Flood Management (NFM) pot by securing £250k for two pilot projects across the county. Given the close working relationship established between HCC and the FWP and the focal point that the FWP has provided, HCC selected Long Marston as their first choice, with Harpenden being the other pilot / case study.

HCC refers to the new high profile NFM project as a partnership programme, over 3 years, which will involve HCC, FWP and the Environment Agency (EA) with support from TRPC and its Parishioners. For TRPC this represents a significant and unique opportunity for funding (approx. £150k), that a village the size of Long Marston would otherwise never secure, as was highlighted in the Options Report.

HCC stated that there is no magic bullet solution for flooding in TRPC but they hoped that NFM could implement several low cost schemes to mitigate or reduce the impact of flooding.

In parallel with the NFM programme, the FWP continues to look at the broader flooding issues across the Parish, expanding the focus beyond Long Marston to the other villages. The FWP plans to produce some practical guidelines and information to help Parishioners in the event of flooding.

The TRPC and FWP continue to look to Parishioners for their active interest and support, to ensure the success of the NFM programme and the FWP’s broader engagement across the Parish.

We especially look for the support and co-operation of land owners to gain access to their land, in order for any of the NFM initiatives to be successful.

Updates from the FWP will be reported in the Village News and here on the TRPC website.

October 31st, 2017