The Floods – One Year On

It’s now a full year since Storm Desmond hit Cumbria with devastating results; flooding in Flimby and other West Cumbria communities on 3 December; Appleby, Kendal, Keswick, Cockermouth and Workington on the 5 December, and Carlisle on the 6 December 2015. Of course, many smaller towns, villages and individual properties were also affected.

Last December, one week after the floods, I wrote
“It is hard to overstate the scale and the impact of this year’s flooding – with flooded communities in 4 out of Cumbria’s 6 districts, resources in organisations in all sectors are being stretched to the limit. Some organisations have had premises flooded, far more have staff whose homes have been flooded, or who are struggling to travel to work with major roads and bridges closed.”

Cumbria County Council Anti-Poverty Strategy

Cumbria County Council is currently in the process of developing an Anti-Poverty strategy for the period 2017 – 2020. The previous strategy for the period 2013-2016 had has as it’s aims
• Maximising Household Income
• Building Community Resilience
• Tackling Child Poverty
and resulted in a range of activity delivered through the Council, in partnership with others, to try and address the anti poverty agenda.
In order to ensure the new strategy is as holistic as possible, I’m keen to hear what initiatives in your experience have worked well over the last three years, what haven’t and what you would consider to be priority areas over the next three years to concentrate on to address poverty in Cumbria.

Flood Recovery Support

Environment Agency Flood Action Plan
The Environment Agency has been working to ensure all those communities affected by flooding last winter now have the same level of flood protection they had before December 2015.

To ensure people have access to the latest information on the Flood Action Plan we have launched an online, digital version  on or directly via this link:
This digital version has a wider reach than the paper version printed earlier in the year, and can be updated in the future. It is accessible via tablet and smartphones as well as laptop and desk top computers.

Funding News

WREN’s FCC Community Action Fund – UPDATE!!!
WREN will only accept applications for the provision, maintenance or improvement of the following types of public amenity:

• Village Halls and Community Centres
• Public Play Areas
• Publicly available Multi use games areas, skate parks and BMX tracks
• Sport and recreation grounds including pavilions and clubhouses with full public access
• Churches – community spaces only
• Nature Reserves
• Public gardens, parks, country parks and woodlands with at least dawn to dusk access
• Museums

Appleby Emergency Response Group

Appleby Emergency Response Group (AERG) are your local community group. We work with all of the relevant agencies and help support the area during floods or other incidents.

Following the flooding in December 2015, the group are looking to strengthen the community emergency plan and as part of this need some extra help. We are looking for local volunteers that would be able to offer their time to help their community in the case of an emergency, such as a flood.

Cockermouth Emergency Response Group Launch Event

Saturday 3rd December 2016
11am– 1pm drop-in session
Christ Church, Cockermouth
to be attended by Sue Hayman MP

The Cockermouth Emergency Response Group has been formed by Churches Together in Cockermouth, Cockermouth Rotary and Cockermouth Flood Action Group in response to the frequent flooding of the town. The aim of the
group is to ensure that our community is better prepared for flooding and other large scale emergencies.
Come along to the launch event where you will be able to:

Launch of New National Trust Beatrix Potter Awards

This year we’ve been celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter, the world famous author, illustrator, farmer and supporter of the National Trust.

To bring the year to a fitting close, the National Trust are delighted to announce the launch of the National Trust Beatrix Potter Awards.

This Anniversary awards scheme celebrates different aspects of Beatrix’s work and interests by recognising the lives and activities of people today, reflecting her on-going legacy in the 21st Century.