Frustrated residents set up flooding action group

Residents who have been left feeling frustrated over the lack of action on flood alleviation measures in Stonehaven have decided to take matters into their own hands and have come together to set up a flood action group in the town.

Speaking at the Stonehaven and District Community Council meeting this week, residents voiced their frustration at lack of movement on the flooding issue in Stonehaven and called for action from the local authority.

It was decided that in order to get their voices heard, they had to get organised and it was agreed that a flood action group would be set up.

Director of the Scottish Flood Forum, Paul Hendy, who is currently working with those effected by flooding in Stonehaven, explained that helping set up community flood action groups was one of the functions of the forum and offered to take down names of those interested and arrange a place and time for the group to meet.

Around forty residents signed up immediately to join the group and anyone else interested should contact Paul Hendy on 07747702299 or paul.hendy@scottishfloodforum.org.

Residents are hoping that the development of such a group will allow the community to come together and have their ideas and views heard by Aberdeenshire Council.

Many members of the public who attended Tuesday night’s meeting voiced their anger at the lack of movement on flood defences in the Town since the floods of 2009.

They all agreed that the time to act is now, with many saying they no longer feel safe or protected.

There is a public meeting planned for the end of January where the issue of flooding in the town will be discussed more thoroughly and the group are hoping that with the development of the new group they will be able to get their points across to the local authority and get some action.

Residents at the meeting also discussed the possibility of suing Aberdeenshire Council over their failure to act after the floods of 2009 or giving them a 180 day deadline in which to do something about flooding in the town.

When asked about plans to deal with flooding in the town, Kincardine and Mearns Area Manager, Willie Munro, said: “Aberdeenshire Council recognises the importance of a flood protection system for Stonehaven.

“Due to the complexities involved, the average time to get a flood protection system in place in Scotland is seven years. Aberdeenshire Council is working towards a solution and various options are being evaluated.

“We have to make sure though that any system deals with the issue and doesn’t simply shift the problem on to other areas.
“Information gathered as a result of the most recent flooding event will be fed into the ongoing design process to ensure the scheme provides protection that is as resilient as possible.”

The flood advice centre, being operated by the Scottish Flood Forum, continues to run from Aberdeenshire Council’s housing office in Allardice Street. It will be open from 9.30am until 4pm every Monday for the next two months.

A Flood Fund has been set up in the town which will be distributed in the coming months.