Crisis meeting in Walcott over floods

A public meeting will be held in Walcott today to help assess how villagers, businesses and the various authorities involved can best clear up the results of last week's storm and flood damage.

A public meeting will be held in Walcott today to help assess how villagers, businesses and the various authorities involved can best clear up the results of last week's storm and flood damage.

Organisers have said the meeting has not been called to run through the response on the night and morning of the events which brought so much devastation to the village, but to work out how best to move forward with the current situation.

The short notice given for the meeting has been criticised, with one member of the local parish council calling it “absolutely ridiculous”.

North Norfolk District Council bosses say the meeting is key in identifying how to help the community.

“The idea is to identify the needs which exist,” said the council's environmental health manager Steve Hems.

“We can then do what we can, or advise which other agency to go to.

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“As well as this meeting our intention is very much to get into the community, to engage, and say 'what are the things you would like from us?'

“But that does not mean we can do everything, the perception can sometimes be that the council can do everything, but that is not the case.

“We are not going to pick a privately owned flooded field clean of debris, although if public health and safety is at risk we will deal with the relevant items.”

Mr Hems said a refuse collection vehicle might be brought to the village on Saturday so people could have somewhere to throw away some of the flotsam and jetsam from the storm and also damaged goods.

But he stressed the vehicle would only be available for items directly associated with the storm and warned people not to throw away damaged goods before insurance assessors had had the chance to see them.

Glenn Barry, vice chairman of Happisburgh and Walcott Parish Council, said: “We are pleased the meeting has been arranged, but to call it on a weekday at 2pm with only 24 hours' notice is absolutely ridiculous.”

The public meeting will be held in the village hall at 2pm.

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