Flooding procedures News release..


"Council’s lack of sandbags could put residents at risk" - Davey

MP calls for the Council’s emergency flooding procedures to be reviewed

In response to last week’s flooding in Kingston, local MP Edward Davey, has written to the Chief Executive of Kingston Council calling for the Council’s emergency flooding procedures to be urgently updated.

After contacting the Council when a severe flood warning was issued for the Kingston stretch of the Thames, Mr Davey was shocked to find that there was no permanent stock of sandbags available. As a result, Mr Davey’s office contacted the Chief Engineering Officer at Epsom & Ewell Borough Council to see if Kingston Council could borrow their stock of 1000 sandbags. The Chief Officer verbally agreed that they could and Mr Davey’s office passed on her details to the emergency planning officer.

Edward Davey said,

"I was very concerned that the resources kept to deal with flooding were simply not there."

"Other local authorities keep a permanent stock of sandbags to help protect property in the event of flooding; however as of last week they were simply not available in Kingston."

"The only means for protecting local premises was for the owners to go to builders’ merchants themselves; however their availability is not guaranteed and the consequences could have been devastating."

I cannot help but feel that we had a lucky escape but we might not be so lucky again. So I have written to the Council’s Chief Executive to ask him to rectify this obvious weakness in their plans."


Letter to the Chief Executive, Kingston Council

Bruce MacDonald
Chief Executive
Surrey KT1 1UN

November 2000


Emergency Flooding Procedures

Following our conversation on Sunday, I am writing to confirm that I am keen for you to review your emergency procedures for flooding as an urgent priority.

I would also like to confirm the information I provided to you on Sunday, namely that Epsom & Ewell Borough Council have 1000 sandbags which my office confirmed with them could be borrowed by RBK in an emergency.

The lack of a permanent stock of sandbags could be putting our residents at risk and must be addressed. Perhaps a sharing agreement with another local authority is the way forward on this issue, to gain maximum protection for best value.

I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely



Edward Davey MP


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