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History of the Bodenham Flood Protection Group
The Second 'Chapter'

This is the second 'chapter' in the history of the Bodenham Flood Protection Group and carries the story forward from January 2021. If you wish to return to the first 'chapter' you can do so here.

In August 2020, Tony and Babs Mitcheson, two of the founding members who had effectively run the Group for a number of years, announced that they were having to stand down.

With the opportunity to form a new fully functional Committee, several members volunteered to take on various positions and, in October 2020, the membership duly elected a new Committee. The Committee now comprises of 7 members and formally commenced activities on 1st January 2021. This interim period of 3 months gave the new Committee the opportunity to review whether changes should be made to the way the BFPG functioned that would lead to more a streamlined approach, allowing greater flexibility around its activities and potentially help to make joining more attractive to new members.

To that end, on 13th January 2021, the Committee made a request to change the Group's status from a Sub-Group of the Parish Council (PC) to that of a Working Group. Unfortunately, given the constraints that the PC works under, this was not possible without a Councillor providing steerage to the Group. This did not align with the flexibility the new Committee wanted to achieve and subsequently the decision was made, unanimously, to inform the PC that the BFPG had chosen to leave the PC and to set up as a Community Group, with an effective date of 31st March 2021.

The underpinning philosophy ‘to undertake, where possible, action to protect residents and property in the Parish from the threat and anxiety of flooding’ has not changed. Whilst river flooding is beyond our control, we will continue to do everything we can to mitigate the effects by keeping brooks and watercourses around the village clear through the activities of Working Parties throughout the year. We will increase our presence on social media by posting updates during flood incidents and we will continue also to encourage residents of vulnerable properties to keep and maintain a stock of sandbags.

As a Committee we are committed to ensuring that the Group continues to function. As such we have focussed on increasing membership, to better ensure we future proof the Group’s key activities. We always welcome new members and if you are interested in joining, then please contact the Secretary for more details on 01568-797305 or at secbfpg@gmail.com.

We have also grouped some of the membership into teams to make it easier to identify where we can best and most safely conduct our activities. These teams include Area Reps and Buddies, Tiered work teams (1 and 2) and Emergency Response (made up of the Committee, Area Reps, Buddies and Tier 1 members). These teams are the ones who will conduct the Group's main activities and, you will have been notified if you are a member of any of them (if you haven’t and wish to be, then again, please let the Secretary know).

Working Parties will now mostly be held on a Saturday morning instead of weekday evenings. There may be additional, ad hoc days, but the preference (especially amongst those members who work) was for a weekend morning. The calendar will continue to run between beginning of April and end of September but this will not be restrictive. For instance, if we receive reports of blockages in the culverts, we will aim to clear those as soon as possible as long as it is safe to do so, no matter the time of year.

Following whatever the government guidelines are at the time, we aim to increase focus on creative promotional activities/fund raising and have co-opted an Events Co-ordinator. Every member will of course be welcome and encouraged to continue to lend their help and support. Any events will be advertised here as well as on social media and via flyers, so please keep your eyes open for future events!

We will hold the Committee meeting approximately every 2 months, ensuring that we circulate the Minutes to all members. Anyone resident in the village is welcome to put forward an item for review by the Committee (via the Secretary) and these will also be reported in the Minutes. In addition to the Committee meetings, we will hold an Annual General Meeting for all members, normally in the second half of April where the current Committee will stand down and a new one will be elected. Finally, a twice-yearly meeting of the active teams (as above), will take place before the working party calendar begins and at the end.

The above sets out the next chapter, where we are going and how. Remember, we are a voluntary group, working for the benefit of the village. Help us to help you by finding out who your Area Rep is and touching base with them, supporting our fundraising and social events and by keeping us updated of any potential flood flash points that you think we may be able to help with.

BFPG Committee

March 2021

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If you wish to return to the first 'chapter' of the History you can do so here.

 

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