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Flooding - Local Action Groups
Groups can discuss local problems, decide on the issues to be tackled, and form an 'Action Plan'. Decisions on how to take action can then be discussed on two levels: Firstly, how members of the community can themselves take action to achieve results, for example taking a pro-active approach to fly tipping by reporting incidents to Environmental Services, and secondly, when further action is needed, how to organise campaigns and negotiate with relevant organisations, adopting effective communication skills to get the best out of available services.
Groups of people with a representative attending local Ward Committee and other relevant meetings can have a strong voice, and really achieve things for their community. Letter writing from groups is very effective, requiring a written response, and good working links with officers from the City Council and outside agencies can be formed. Taking this approach, the Rea Valley Residents' Flood Action Group in Northfield have been very successful, with a dedicated committee and Chair and much has been achieved for their area. One success of the group is the development of a "Flood Defence Plan" which is very effective during a flooding emergency. Members of the group know who to contact and how, and call on further volunteers who just help during a flooding emergency. This co-ordinated approach, with members of the community pulling together, really does make a difference during a flooding incident.
Effective communication from community groups can also be instrumental in fostering good working relationships with officers, not just of the City Council but also outside agencies who may be able to assist. This in turn can lead to the more responsive use of limited funding resources.
If you are interested in forming a "Flood Action Group," you can contact the "National Flood Forum" for support and advice. The Forum has members with experience who can help groups organise campaigns and to negotiate with the relevant bodies involved in flooding. The Rea Valley Flood Action Group is a member, and can be contacted via the Forum. You can read about the Forum in more detail on a separate page, or visit their website:
Information about external links on birmingham.gov.uk