While Dauntsey has suffered a number of flooding events over the years, July 2007 caused significant disruption. When residents tried to find help and understand the causes, many authorities claimed authority... but also denied responsibility.
In response to this lack of clarity and absence of any obvious "White Knight" to fight for the community, Dauntsey Parish Council set up a working group called the Dauntsey Parish Council Drainage Board (DPCDB) under the leadership of Councillor Andrew Chapman.
While other areas that suffered flooding have set up flood working groups, the Dauntsey approach is to understand the drainage of the whole area and no just focus on a single flood event, hence drainage rather than flood in the name.
DPCDB tried to keep the community informed by:
- Reporting regularly at Parish Council meetings
- To the community as a whole through the Dauntsey Pump (the free parish magazine)
- and via the Dauntsey Community website.
Along with a number of other Wiltshire parishes, DPCDB represented the community on Wiltshire Council’s Operational Flood Working Group. This group brings together a variety of organisations with an interest in flooding including Environment Agency, Highways Agency and Wessex Water.
DPCDB also worked to raise awareness of local problems and helps to escalate issues, worked with our MP (James Gray) to put pressure on both Environment Agency and Highways Agency and helped homeowners and their insurance companies in their fight for compensation from Highways Agency, including dealing with HM Treasury Solicitors Office.
On a local level, there has been work with riparian owners to explain their responsibilities and encourage them to maintain or, where necessary, improve their watercourses.
Andrew Chapman resigned from Dauntsey Parish Council in January 2012 but has continued to be a member of the Wiltshire Council Operational Flood Working Group where he continues to fight to solve the major / higher level problems. At the parish level, Dauntsey Parish Councillor Nic Puntis leads the local flood wardens.