“Action expresses priorities.” – Mahatma Gandhi
The 14 and 16th of June 2021, were the two hottest days in Hythe, Kent, reaching 28 degrees
On the night of the 16th June, businesses and householders suffered bad flooding on Hythe Hight St. The next morning at 09:43 Kentonline ran the headline – “Storm leaves Hythe High Street flooded“, later in the day at 15:59, they ran a further headline: “Homes and shops flooded overnight in Hythe” And the flooding reach the Independent, where they stated:
The town of Hythe in Kent is at a particularly high risk in heavy storms, as more than half of the homes in the Folkestone and Hythe District Council are at risk of flooding, according to the local council.
The council has been contacted for comment.
55% of the Folkestone & Hythe District is on, or below, sea level.
Hythe is a town which turned Green at the last election. It is a ten strong Green Coalition. In Mid 2019, HTC passed a Climate & Emergency Declaration. Nowhere in the declaration does it mention flood, or flooding.
Contrast that to the Folkestone & Hythe District Council Climate & Ecological Emergency Declaration brought by Green Cllr, Georgina Treloar. This mentions the word “flood/s” four times and “flooding” three times
Now given Hythe Town Council (HTC) is a Green Coalition, and given it wants to act on climate and ecological matters, such as flooding, one might have thought any Cllr might have given written notice to move a motion at the Full Council at the earliest opportunity, which was the 24 June, regarding the flooding.
Part 9(b) of the HTCs Standing Orders (as adopted) would have allowed this:
No motion may be moved at a meeting unless it is on the agenda and the mover has given written notice of its wording to the Proper Officer at least four clear days before the meeting. Clear days do not include the day of the notice or the day of the meeting.
The Green lead coalition chose to give written notice to move the following motion – which was passed by a majority vote
“That as a next step in Hythe Town Council’s climate and ecological emergency measures, it is proposed that the Council will move to plant-based food and drinks for all Council functions.”
“Action expresses priorities.” – said Mahatma Gandhi, and the priorities at HTC, which are being expressed, are what people eat at HTC functions.
Two years after taking office, the Green Coalition have NOT put in place a community flood plan to deal with flooding issues like that which happened on the night of the 16th June.
Flooding is a foreseeable event for which specific plans need to be made and HTC along with KCC has powers to do something about flooding. They have the legal powers to put in place a community flooding plan for Hythe. As they say, preparation prevents piss poor performance, and better late than never. (All parish and town councils in England, have the powers to implement a community flood plan.)
Under Section 260 of the Public Health Act (1936), parish/town councils have powers to undertake maintenance work on ponds, ditches, pools or other areas used for the collection of drainage or stagnant water in order to prevent it from becoming a public health risk.
This means HTC or any of the 30 Parish/Town Councils in the Folkestone & Hythe District boundary (and beyond), could help flood prevention and reduction efforts by preparing community flood plans, raising additional funding for flood defence measures from Folkestone & Hythe District Council’s £4.75 million Climate & Ecological Initiative fund the council have on offer. HTC could organise, gather and report information on flood incidents in their community.
They could organize a Flood Action Group, or contact any existing groups in the area. More info can be found at the – National Flood Forum:
HTC could also help prepare a Community Flood Plan, which would help the community respond quickly when flooding happens. A template on how to do this can be found here:
So no it’s not all Kent County Council. HTC can plan and play an important role in this urgent issue but have failed to act after two years in office.
Flooding is, we believe, rather more important than what people can eat in their sandwiches at HTC functions. The sooner the Green Coalition implement a community flood plan, the sooner and safer residents and businesses of Hythe will be.
The Shepway Vox Team
Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful