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The group meets four times a year. Most meetings have an invited expert speaker. Meetings are hosted by the different towns and parishes and members are updated on matters of interest between meetings. Contact us at for more information.

What our members do in our own towns and parishes

The group does not directly run volunteer activities – member towns, parishes and flood groups each have their own approaches to flooding and have control of these completely independently of West Somerset Flood Group. There is no OSFA for flooding. All our communities are different and have different needs. Some of our members have formal written flood plans with defined procedures and roles. Others (mostly smaller parishes) have a less formal approach where the community or parish know who to contact and what to do. All plans must in any case be flexible and develop as circumstances change. The first place you should look to find out what happens in your own area is your Town or Parish website.

Keeping in touch with authorities and helping to set the agenda

Invited speakers as a way of having focused conversations with practitioners

We invite speakers from a wide range of bodies to talk to us about their work. The group always has a lot of questions, and these discussions are a way of letting Risk Management Authorities and other bodies know more about local issues that matter to local people. Sometimes authorities or organisations ask to come and speak with us about a new project, both for feedback and so we can report back to our own councils.

District Flood Board: a forum for discussion between key partners

West Somerset Flood Group has three permanent representatives on West Somerset District Flood Board and the group actively contributes to the Board’s agenda. Our current Chair is Deputy Chair of the Board. The Board allows detailed round table discussions on all aspects of flooding in West Somerset to take place between West Somerset Flood Group and Risk Management Authorities (SWTC, SCC, Wessex Water, Internal Drainage Board, Environment Agency) Local Planning Authorities (Exmoor National Park Authority, SWTC) and other interested parties. These discussions have helped to move forward collaboration between partners, not least in making sure that our planning system adopts a robust approach to flood risk and in developing bids for Somerset Rivers Authority funding.

Other contributions on all scales to the debate on flooding

Our group attends Somerset Water Management Partnership meetings and sends representatives to workshops and conferences wherever it can, including Flood and Coast, run by the Environment Agency*. We play an active role in Somerset Rivers Authority projects and other local schemes. As there are several Natural Flood Management projects going on in West Somerset, we also provide the Chair for a People and Partnerships group to help communication and cooperation between projects and to raise wider public awareness of the projects.

*Particular thanks go to the Environment Agency for allowing us to illustrate this website with materials produced by for their 2018 Flood and Coast conference.

Contributions to particular projects

The group has assisted the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group South West on a number of projects to address run-off problems. These have involved both individual hotspots where run-off seriously affects roads and wider catchment-based Natural Flood Management projects. It has provided input to projects such as a Sustrans cycle path, development of a flood-training package by Groundwork South, a Civil Contingencies spontaneous volunteer exercise, an eco-system services report to Defra, Environment Agency consultation on the Minehead to Blue Anchor Beach Management Plan and flood relief schemes for Williton. The Group attended and spoke on drainage and flooding issues at the Inspector’s hearings for the Local Plan. Members of the group have also helped the national Digital Flood Warning team test out ideas for a new version of the service. WSFG is affiliated to the National Flood Forum, a national organisation to help communities at risk.

West Somerset Flood Group received the Prince of Wales award for communities in 2016, awarded jointly by the Duchy of Cornwall and the Royal Bath and West of England Society.

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