A CROSS-PARTY working group on Bromsgrove District Council said the risk of flooding caused by climate change must be taken seriously.
The warning was issued just before the historic UN Climate Change report was published at the end of last week which predicted extreme weather across the globe, stating flooding, heatwaves and droughts were likely to become more common.
The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned about the impacts of global warming which would affect everywhere, including the UK.
In the past few weeks there has been flooding in Germany and forest fires in Greece.
A report on flooding in Bromsgrove was presented to the council’s cabinet meeting last month, warning of potentially devastating impacts of climate change if action was not taken to better-manage the district’s waterways.
A special flooding working group was set up last summer and has met regularly over the last 12 months, hearing evidence from all the key agencies responsible for managing flood risk in the community.
These include Worcestershire County Council, North Worcestershire Water Management, Bromsgrove District Council and Severn Trent Water.
The working group called on Bromsgrove District Council to invest additional resources in flooding prevention measures including keeping natural water courses clear of blockages.
It also called for greater transparency over the frequency of drain cleaning and more publicity for the support available to local residents in the event of a flood.
The group was chaired by Bromsgrove Liberal Democrat leader Coun Rob Hunter who was inspired to set up the group after listening to residents’ concerns in Lickey End.
Coun Hunter said: “I was hearing from more and more residents who were concerned flooding was becoming more common and felt the council wasn’t doing enough to tackle the problem.
“After 12 months of scrutinising the issue with colleagues on the flooding working group, I realised this wasn’t just a problem in Lickey End, but across the whole district.
“I urge the Conservative Cabinet to implement our recommendations in full as soon as possible.
“We know climate change is upon us, we must act now to protect local communities.”
Bromsgrove District Council leader, Coun Karen May, said North Worcestershire Management Service – a joint service shared between the district, Wyre Forest and Redditch Borough Councils – was already looking into the watercourses.
“We are all concerned about flooding risks in the district but this is not just something we can throw money at when we don’t know who owns what and what needs doing.
She added the report was due to be published next month.
“Once the mapping has been done we will work out what action to take.”