Next steps, strategy/tactics/actions
Thank you to Steve for setting the first meeting. I have written a potted version of what was said in no particular order rather than a formal version of minutes as we did jump around a lot.
We started the meeting with a Round Robin introduction of attendees.
Geoff led the meeting with a summary of the first meeting of the business action group at the Lakeland Gate 14 January 2016. There was a good turnout of local business and a number of advisors on hand to assist business in recovering from the aftermath of the flooding. Geoff is aware of the importance of keeping the group motivated and spoke of the impact of immediate loss of business in December and ongoing impact post recovery.
Steve Matthews from Bookends is a member of the Carlisle Business Improvement District which is aiming to improve Carlisle’s historical significance for tourists visiting the city.
There are a number of other business groups which we may be able to encourage tie-ins or funding from.
John then led us through the visionary group’s thoughts and observations of 29 January 2016. Three main areas are addressed:
1. We live with the floods
2. We manage the rivers – fell to foreshore
All agreed that the observations would provide a good basis for the group objectives. Diane noted that as the visionary areas would all require cooperation with local landowners and famers it would be useful to have somebody involved with the group who could assist in an advisory capacity especially with regards to representation and communication.
SG mentioned research team being built with Cumbria Uni, including academics covering disaster management, mental health, forestry and conservation, as well as leadership.
Our realisation that the problem/solution is not just Carlisle and we are going to attempt to network with other similar groups in settlements within the same rainfall catchment for a coordinated approach and this gave rise to the question whether the current group name would ‘fit’ with this aspect.
Bev’s efforts to push the government into launching a public inquiry into the recent flooding are still ongoing. It was also suggested that whilst there are definitely questions to be asked of the authorities there may be more to be gained in the longer term by being seen to be assisting rather than battling on all fronts.
It was the opinion of most that the authorities do not as yet have the answers to the environmental problems that may lie ahead in the future. It was proposed that the group should be instrumental in providing solutions to the authorities and assist our elected MPs to represent us better in parliament.
Glenn noted that most doors could be opened if presented in a mutually beneficial way.
Keith was very interested in helping the residents and business recovery in the short term. There was a feeling that there are steps that we as individuals can take in making ourselves more resilient such as:
• creating floating properties on land earmarked for development
• persuade people to create gardens instead of concrete driveways which run off into the water course quickly
• more awareness of EA floodline notifications
Ali has good knowledge of this having lived in Holland for a period and is interested in helping people be more flood resilient.
Susan is concerned that some insurance companies are not paying out on policies. Others in the group have also heard of this.
Strategy for Moving Forward
Steve was keen to dedicate to the last period of the meeting to moving forward.
- How will the group structure itself
- What is the group objective(s)/mission statement
- How do we communicate this
- Where will the funding come from
- Branding – logo, letterhead, email newsletter
- Glenn kindly volunteered to give naming some thought as part of the branding for the next meeting
- Diane will facilitate a workshop at the next meeting to address all these points. The main objective of the workshop to identify:
- Officially recognized status – group constitution, charitable status
- Roles & responsibilities – management committee, Sub group entities/task forces
- Mission statement
- Objectives – who are we representing & what are our clearly defined goals
This will provide legitimacy to our actions and help us communicate and achieve our goals.