We are delighted that the Chancellor has confirmed in his Autumn Statement that Southwell will be receiving Grant in Aid funding which, together with the Environment Agency funding covers about 54% of the total costs of mitigation to reduce our flood risk.

Overall the scheme will cost an estimated £1.875m. Nottinghamshire County Council has pledged £600,000, Southwell Town Council has supported the fund with a £40K contribution through the precept last year and it is anticipated that contributions from the Town Council will continue, to raise a total of £100K in forthcoming years. In addition, the local community will be required to raise a mandatory contribution of £125,000, of which £16k has been raised, and the remainder will come from other partners.

It is also exceptionally good news that after lobbying Government, the £5k Repair and Renew Grant will be extended so that Southwell homes and businesses flooded from April 2013 to December 2013 will also be eligible. The Grant allows businesses and homeowners to purchase flood protection measures for their property, up to the value of £5,000. Newark and Sherwood District Council is now accepting applications, visit:www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/yourcouncil/flooding/floodsupportscheme  or you can ask for a paper copy to be sent you by calling Customer Services on 01636 650000.

Last month, a group representing Southwell Flood Forum visited Westminster at the invitation of Robert Jenrick, MP for Newark. Our party included Bruce Laughton, County Councillor; Tim Farr, Chair of Trent Regional Flood and Coastal Committee and Brendan Haigh, representing Southwell Civic Society and ex-Town Councillor. We were very pleased to have the opportunity to talk to Robert who has taken a strong interest in our flooding concerns.

Congratulations to the Watercourse Clearing Team who won the EDF Energy Environmental Community of the Year in the Nottingham Post 2014 Environmental Awards. The award is dedicated to all the volunteers, including cake bakers and coffee makers, who put in hundreds of hours to clear watercourses efficiently and effectively.

Eleven new Road Closure/Flood Wardens were trained in November plus a few who did their annual refresher session. We're delighted that the community is keen to be involved with the Emergency Plan and we will continue to run training sessions to keep Southwell safe. Please sign up at www.southwellfloodforum.org.uk/join

At Southwell library on 29th November, children and their parents helped colour, stick, fold and hang flood-themed Christmas decorations on our tree for the Methodist Church Christmas Tree Festival.

In the New Year Shaun Maskrey from the University of Nottingham will be running monthly community participation workshops in Southwell as part of his research project to help us understand and manage our flood risk. The first two workshops are at 6.45pm on 21st January and 26th February. If you are interested in joining this exciting and useful venture, please phone 01636 815739 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jacky Huson

Other Flooding News
As part of the same national £2.3bn scheme Lowdham and Gunthorpe will also receive state funding, amounting to £50,000 each, to protect dozens of homes from future flooding.