Councillor calls for detailed report on flooding in the Mearns

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Mearns Councillor, Bill Howatson has called for a detailed report on future plans to tackle severe flooding in Aberdeenshire.

Speaking after the Aberdeenshire Council Alliance group meeting, Cllr Howatson said: “The impact of flooding in the Christmas period has been substantial throughout the Mearns. It is important that lessons are learned from this miserable experience and local knowledge and expertise is harnessed to help reduce the further risk of flooding.

“It’s vital that the council has a clear understanding of how the widespread flooding effected communities in a bid to help them be better equipped for the future. It is becoming clear that flooding is going to increase as the climate changes and arguably the increased incidence of sustained and heavy rainfall is going to present a severe challenge to communities.

“I believe the council responded superbly to the pre Christmas floods and worked incredibly effectively with other services to deal with a host of incidents from Stonehaven to Fettercairn.

“But there are always lessons to be learned and good practice refined.

“There is an on-going need to help individual communities to be more resilient and offer the best support available.”

Under the 2009 Flood Risk Management Act not only are additional duties given to local councils, but there is a renewed emphasis on closer working to reduce the overall risk of flood, particularly in areas and communities at greatest risk.

Cllr Howatson praised the work of the flood education centre in Stonehaven operated by the Scottish Flood Forum which is open to anybody effected by flooding throughout Aberdeenshire.

“Councils alone cannot deal with flooding, but they can, and do, work effectively with other agencies and local communities to assist in very difficult situations.

“I am pleased that the chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee, Cllr. Peter Argyle, has agreed a full report be brought forward, and that there will be a paper to the Kincardine and Mearns Area committee, which will address the flooding issues, including Fettercairn, Marykirk and St Cyrus.

“This will look at not only the extent of flooding, but the key issues of greater attention to ditches and gullies and the costs of addressing what appears to be a change to more frequent incidents of severe wet weather.”