ChideockFloodI am sure many remember the surface water flood problems encountered in July and November of 2012.  After these events it was decided to set up a Flood & Surface Water Management Group which has met regularly during 2013.  Many outside agencies have attended our meetings including Connect, Highways, Dorset County Council and the Environment Agency.  All have been extremely helpful in identifying solutions to our problems.  Chideock Parish Council has supported the Group and have paid for hall hire and the Parish Clerk has attended meetings. Dr.Oliver Letwin, MP has become involved with regard to the Eastern end of the village. We cannot change the geography of our village that is surrounded by hills with the obvious water travelling down to the River Winniford but we can do what we can to ensure that drains and gullies are regularly maintained, brooks, ditches and the river is kept clear of debris and problems are reported to the correct Agency.  Most importantly, we have set up a Community Sandbag Store with 100 Sandbags available at various properties in the village and a Sandbag Bin in the Car Park of the Clock House. (Many thanks to Mike and Helen).  We were very fortunate to have Kate Taylor of the Environment Agency assigned to us to help us draw up our Management Plan and through Kate we now have an early warning of flooding in our area using the free Floodline Warnings Direct Service. All members of the Group have signed up for this service and so will be in a position to be prepared.  Anyone from the public can also sign up by registering for Floodline Warnings Direct on 0845 988 1188 or by contacting any member of the Group.  Liaison will continue with Landowners and regular inspections will take place by Group members. Group Members are:  Roger Carey, Denys and Elizabeth Brunsden, Callum Crawford, Annette and David Jones, Colin Bowditch, Mrs Christine Everidge, Rob Murray, Eddie Brown and Lyn Crisp.  I am sure you would join me in thanking them for their time and commitment especially those wielding spades and brooms clearing drains, brooks and ditches!