Locals set to form district-wide action group to combat flooding in Bognor Regis and beyond
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Founding member David Alexander, 67, said that, once the group is formed, it will look to bring all the right agencies to the table and work out how to affect real change. He intends to get the Environment Agency, Southern Water, Arun District Council and West Sussex County Council onboard in a project which, he says, will rise above party politics.
“This isn’t something we’re just hoping to achieve,” the 67-year-old said. “We are going to have to. Or we’ll be flooded out."
The nucleus of the idea came from Mr Alexander’s own experiences as an Addison Way resident in Bersted, which has been seriously flooded for several weeks, with water sneaking into his neighbour’s gardens, garages and conservatories.
But he is keen to make clear that the action group will go far beyond Bersted, identifying and tackling issues that lead to flooding across the Arun District. As the action group begins to take shape, he said there are several factors he’d like to tackle, including overdevelopment, the overwhelmed drainage system, and management of local water bodies like the River Rife.
"The first thing we have to do is form a committee to establish the direction we want to take. So I have been in contact with just about everybody to get this off the ground. I fought against the developments that are causing these issues twenty years ago, and I want to fight them now.
"It’s about starting out, finding our feet and getting it all moving. Any action is better than no action at all.”
Mr Alexander hopes the action group will mobilise, unify and comprise councillors from across the party line, some of whom are already speaking out about the chaos caused by the floods. Last week, West Sussex county councillor Keir Greenway addressed Bognor Regis Town Council, asking for their support in his plea to the Environment Agency after parts of Shripney Road were closed due to serious flooding. The address came just days before his own trip to Addison Way to support the residents there.