- Minutes from previous Meeting
- Business arising from previous minutes/meeting
- Treasurers report (we should be so lucky – I am not sure we have funds yet!)
- Chair update
- Working group updates
- Agenda & Format for Public Meeting 4th April:
- Overview presentation - where we are (SG and any others who want to chip in)
- Present the Exec Group structure and goals - launch the website, plus fund raising (DB)
- Present the "Recovering our property values" strategy (what defence we think will bring values back up) - (JK)
- Launch the Big Survey - and highlight the Awards ceremony later in the year (SG and DB)
- Open Forum (SG)
- Engagement & Communication with stakeholders (DB)
Matters arising from previous meeting
DB ran through minutes & actions of previous meeting.
- The decision to make the move to charitable status has been delayed. It was felt that the group has just formed and needs time to settle in first.
- The constitution presented by DB has been formally adopted.
- SK was not able to set up the bank account without the signed constitution so this should be possible now.
- The exact formation of the working groups and their remits are still to be decided.
- DB informed the group that work is progressing on the website but it is taking longer than expected
SK was absent from the meeting but we do not have any funds as yet so not much to report!
- SK to talk to the Cumberland Building Society to set up a bank account.
SG welcomed LE to the group. Luis was fundamental in saving the defence depot at Longtown, saving 400 jobs in the process. Luis’s experience and knowledgeable is a big asset to the group.
SG updated us on his meeting with the Cumbria County Council Flood Recovery Group which he attended with LE that morning. The group is managed by Ted Thwaites of CCC and there are serious concerns that the group is not attempting to deal with the recovery at a strategic level. LE to continue attending meetings and report back to group.
SG is also concerned about the lack of urgency within the authorities that have power and are able to bring about change. There was confusion over who is ultimately in charge, nobody is taking responsibility. Who is the person in charge of the recovery? LE mentioned that Rory Stewart is in theory in charge of recovery but has passed this responsibility to the Environment Agency. It was felt that there is a growing feeling of abandonment. What if it happens tomorrow?
SG passed on his vision of long term recovery through economic growth. Momentous devastating events like the flood can lead to a seed change in the dynamic of business and commerce in Cumbria. Whilst we are aware that there is a pressing need for immediate recovery we have to also look at how we can improve the opportunities within the City and area long term. Protection of the city is key not just from flood but from economic weakness.
- All to read Dieter Helms publication 5th January 2016 and consider for adoption at next meeting http://www.dieterhelm.co.uk/sites/default/files/Flood%20defence%20-%20time%20for%20a%20radical%20rethink.pdf
Visionary Group Update
JK has arranged a meeting the Town Hall offices for Friday 18th March. There are approx. 16 - 20 people keen to be involved with looking at the change we can effect in reducing the impact of the flood. It was felt that apart from building a big wall to keep the water out, nothing else has been done. The emphasis should be on managing floods, minimising harm caused and enabling a speedy ‘bounce-back’.
John JK would like to ban the word “resilience” from the action group. He feels that the word places emphasis back onto the individual to be resilient rather than coming up with long term solutions which would work for the majority.Long may we be resilient as individuals and as a community in spirit but it is the idea that we must make our homes and buildings “resilient” by using resilient materials and processes which sets an unattainable expectation of existing building stock.
We talked about some of the more radical property solutions such as large-scale demolition and re-development upon the Dutch model, popularity for such a process would be mixed (compulsory purchase requirements inevitable) – loss of ‘home’ identity and heritage issues. A less expensive and individual choice might be floating the house interior inside the existing property shell – potentially cheaper but requiring research development funding.
We talked about some of the more radical property solutions such as building indoor boxes within houses which rise and fall with the water. The cost of this is not thought to be as great as first envisaged but whether the appeal of these floating houses may not be widespread enough to cause any great effect. Unless there is an authority led decision to embark on a flood scheme which makes this kind of solution appealing to house owners we do not believe that this option will be taken up by many.
Engagement & Communication
Work is progressing on the website. It is hoped that we will be able to plug in a survey module, a forum and voting system for the awards at the end of the year. DB is also hoping to collate all the subscribed members so far and use the website as a platform for better engagement with the members.
SG talked about publishing a book with Jean Hill, the organist at St Cuthberts. The content forming 8 minutes stories from the flood.
Public Meeting 4th April
DB was worried that we still did not have a clear set of direction and objectives for the group. After much discussion the decision was taken that the group should direct itself in 3 areas:
- As a body for bringing about change to the area not only in a flood recovery capacity but also as an enabler of change in the long term economic prosperity of the area.
- Act in an advisory capacity to “join the dots” of the myriad authorities, agencies, companies, charities, volunteer groups and emergency services connected to flood prevention, emergency and recovery. Naming and shaming where appropriate, delivering praise where due.
- Plugging the gaps where necessary and acting as a pressure group in the areas where agencies/bodies are underperforming.
- All to review public meeting agenda and bring updates, relevant information to next meeting for inclusion
Any Other Business
The meeting was adjourned at 6:30pm. The next meeting has been arranged for Thursday 31st March 5pm at DBs office - Warwick on Eden, CA4 8PA.
Addendum to Minutes
SG has subsequently provided a set of core values for the group;
A safe and prosperous city
To be fearless powerful voice for the people of Carlisle
- Identify the most effective flood defence system and campaign for its earliest implementation
- Identify the political leadership and government/agency requirements that will deliver this
- Provide accurate assessments of agency performance, and call paid officials to account
- Communicate regularly through social media
- Hold community meetings when needed
- Build sustainable campaign funds
- Remain close to the needs of the people
- Highlight exemplary practice
- All to assess values and refine where appropriate for next meeting