Following the recent storms and consequent severe flooding and power cuts in his constituency, Jeremy Hunt, MP for South West Surrey has been working hard behind the scenes to conceive and take forward a comprehensive plan of action to ensure that the area is more adequately supported in the future.
Regarding the significant problems which arose with flooding, particularly in the Godalming area, initial discussions began over the Christmas period, and in the New Year a round table meeting was chaired by Jeremy and included Waverley Borough and Godalming town councillors and residents’ groups. In addition, on Friday 24th January Jeremy meet with Stuart Hogarth, Director of Distribution and Bev Keogh, Head of Operations (South) of Scottish Southern Electric to discuss the recent power cuts in the constituency. He was seeking answers to the questions posed by many constituents including the inadequate infrastructure in the area and the company’s emergency response strategy and customer service. He established from SSE their firm commitment to prioritise, with immediate effect, maintenance and improvements to the infrastructure in the worst hit areas and was also informed that the company had, since the December storms, re-evaluated and made improvements to their customer communication strategy.
This Friday 7th February Jeremy will host the first meeting of the newly formed Waverley Infrastructure Resilience Group set up and lead by the MP and the leader of Waverley Borough Council, Robert Knowles. The group will comprise representatives from the Environment Agency, utility companies, emergency services and local councillors and the initial agenda will be to establish a robust plan for a fully integrated emergency strategy along with developing a comprehensive action plan of regular works and maintenance within the constituency, wherever possible, in order to mitigate any similar extreme weather in the future and avoid the level of disruption experienced recently.
Leader of Waverley Borough Council, Robert Knowles said, ‘I am pleased to see that so many representatives from partner agencies are attending our initial meeting to help us all understand the challenges and demands brought about by the wettest period for 100 years and to look at plans for the benefit of our residents in the future.’
Jeremy Hunt MP said, ‘One thing is clear from the last few years: extreme weather is no longer a "freak" occurrence but happens regularly. So we need to know that the local infrastructure is robust - whether electricity, water, broadband or gas - and that flooding protection is going to be significantly improved. I am very pleased that Waverley has agreed to set up a Waverley Infrastructure Resilience Group, chaired jointly by myself and the leader of the council Robert Knowles, and we intend to make good progress on these areas going forward. ‘