Still time to get help from Flood Action

Stonehaven Flood Action held its first annual general meeting last week when members heard a report on progress made since December 2012.

over the year.

Although many people were frustrated that it took so long to introduce even simple flood protection measures, largely due to red tape, it was recognised that the Flood Action Group had made good relationships with the Aberdeenshire Council Flood Engineers and with agencies such as SEPA and the Forestry Commission.

Every month a list of questions and new ideas has been talked about in meetings and taken up with Aberdeenshire officials at regular meetings.

The Treasurer reported on a very successful year of fundraising which has made it possible to provide support to householders to protect their own properties and to purchase 1,000 sandbags. 200 have been filled and we are looking for volunteers to fill more in the near future.

‘‘It will take a number of years to go through all the procedures before Aberdeenshire Council can build the proposed flood defences and the earliest that the Arbuthnot Drain can be completed is Easter 2014.

‘‘Given the wet weather so far this winter, it makes sense to protect your property if you live in the flood risk area, but it can be expensive! We can offer two ways of minimising the cost:

‘‘There is still time for residents to apply for support when they buy flood protection such as flood gates, vent covers, toilet bungs, etc.

‘‘Our fundraising has made it possible to provide a contribution of up to £150 per household when we receive evidence that a firm order has been placed.

‘‘ More information on our website, www.stonehavenfloodaction.org.

‘‘A simple survey to identify the equipment needed for your property can be arranged by contacting Aberdeenshire’s Area Office at Viewmount and a range of equipment can be purchased at cost price from Aberdeenshire Council.’’

Any residents who have not yet signed up for the SEPA flood alerts and flood warnings are advised to visit www.sepa.org.uk/floodingsignup or call Floodline on 0845-988-1188

Also at the AGM, Greig Walker, Mark Irvine, David Macdonald and Graeme McKinnon were re-elected as chairman, deputy chairman, secretary and treasurer respectively for 2014 and will be closely involved along with other members in regular meetings with the Aberdeenshire Flooding Engineers.

George Emslie, Jim McKenzie and Chris Anstock were appointed to lead the groups on resilience, natural flood management and coastal flooding issues.

Chairman Greig Walker commented that it was heartening to see how many group members were taking on responsibility for improving the flood protection provision in Stonehaven and that there had been a tremendous community spirit in Stonehaven shown by the reaction over the last year to the flooding problems.”