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Environment Agency trained new flood wardens for Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Malling and Maidstone

By Annabel Rusbridge-Thomas

The Environment Agency has trained a brand new team of flood wardens in an attempt to coordinate responses to the risk of flooding.

The team, that is in partnership with Kent Fire and Rescue and KCC is made up of 42 wardens who have been drawn from local communities with the support of the local parish councils - many of whom were affected by flooding last winter.

The individuals will work together to act as a link between the EA and communities at risk, disseminating information to local people.

Sevenoaks District Council has awarding grants for residents and businesses that suffered during flooding last winter

The newly-formed Kent Resilience Team (a partnership between Kent County Council, Kent Fire & Rescue Service and Kent Police), gave the new wardens training which covered topics involving safety, warning and informing arrangements, emergency planning structures, and response arrangements.

As part of the training, the wardens were talked through the work the EA does, how the flood warning Service works, and local flood risk in their community highlighting specific areas that are more susceptible for flooding.

Maidstone Borough, Tonbridge and Malling Borough and Sevenoaks District Councils have funded the equipment which the wardens will use.

Heavy rain. Stock picture.

Kent County Council coordinated the recruitment of the volunteers that make up the team.

Rob Wiles, senior resilience officer for the Kent Resilience Team, said: “The local knowledge that flood wardens can provide to us on the ground will greatly enhance our response capability”.

“The new team of flood wardens will enable us to improve the way we all work together to make communities more resilient to the risk of flooding" - Luke Thompson, EA

The flood wardens are working together with parish councils to discuss how they can operate within their communities and how they can work together during a flooding.

Luke Thompson, Environment Agency flood officer, said: “The new team of flood wardens will enable us to improve the way we all work together to make communities more resilient to the risk of flooding.

"The work they will do with communities will complement the Flood Warning Service we offer.

“How communities prepare and work together before, during and after flooding, make a real difference. Flood Wardens are vital to helping communities survive the effects of flooding.”

The wardens will cover Maidstone, Tonbridge, Edenbridge, Hildenborough, East Peckham, Collier Street, Boughton Monchelsea, Little Venice, Aylesford, and East Farleigh.

More volunteers are still needed in Tonbridge, Collier Street, Edenbridge and Aylesford.

If you are interested contact your parish councillor.

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