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Council award nomination for flood response
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Council's award nomination for flood response

Allerdale Borough Council was nominated in the Local Government Council Worker of the Year Awards for its emergency response to the floods in Allerdale last November.

Finalists from local councils across the UK were short listed for local government’s most prestigious awards, staged by the Local Government Channel, in association with the Local Government Association. Allerdale Borough Council competed with three other councils in the Team of the Year category.

Harry Dyke, Allerdale Borough Council’s Chief Executive, said: “The dramatic flooding that occurred on 19-22 November 2009 devastated Allerdale; yet staff across the Council, many coping with personal difficulties and problems caused by the effects of the floods such as road closures and the flooding of family, friends, and even themselves, came together as one team to tackle the emergency.

“We set up an emergency helpline/contact centre, staffed by 20 people 24/7; some doing 26 hour shifts! Around 1,400 calls were presented in four days, on diverse subjects such as sandbags, missing people, arranging food, wellies and protective clothing, barriers, a generator and mobile banking facilities, finding accommodation, temporary street lighting, medical assistance, gas and electricity queries, refuse collection and street cleansing.

“Council staff operated reception centres at Cockermouth, Workington and Keswick, rehomed those affected by flooding and worked around the clock to help prevent the spread of disease. We tried to make the most of our website and communications to help people access as much information as we could.

“The Building Control team inspected over 700 properties for signs of structural failure; 600 flood information packs were delivered to affected properties. Seven dangerous structures notices were served.

“We arranged for the distribution of 8,000 sandbags in increasingly worsening conditions and once the floodwaters had subsided our cleansing staff worked throughout the night at short notice to ensure streets were cleaned of mud, silt and debris by daylight. We picked up 1,000 appliances from fridges to cookers and collected 1,000 tonnes of bulky waste and flood debris.

“Legal and planning issues were resolved within 24 hours to build a train station on Allerdale Borough Council’s land to link communities in north Workington to the rest of the town. Council land was also used for a temporary footbridge over the River Derwent, built within 10 days by the army. The Regeneration team and their business support partner agencies worked to get Allerdale back open for business.

“So many of our staff went that extra mile for the communities in which many of them live. I am therefore delighted and proud that their tremendous efforts have been recognised with this nomination.”


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 01900 702702
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Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ