ERIC Hudson, the new Mayor of Tenbury, says that flooding in the East of England should serve as a wake-up call for people in Tenbury.

He says that the risk of a repeat of the flooding that devasted the town a decade ago is very real but is not being taken seriously.

Mr Hudson says that it is pointless to wait on the authorities to come up with a scheme but that local action guided by the Environment Agency is needed.

“This is very serious, but people are not taking it seriously enough.”

With Tenbury failing to meet the rules for a scheme funded by the Environment Agency, Mr Hudson believes that a DIY type initiative may be a way forward.

“Young people gathering to protest at failure to act on Climate Change has impressed me and living in a town that is vulnerable to increased rainfall makes me think that help from government agencies is unlikely to be forthcoming so perhaps we have to act to safeguard our future,” added Mr Hudson.

“I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has similar concerns.

“A Flood Forum has been established in Tenbury, of which I am a member; whilst there may not be funds available to construct protection measures, we can perhaps act because as a community we have agricultural businesses with machinery that could form bunds or create flood plains, albeit under the guidance of the Environment Agency.”

“We have agricultural equipment and skills in our area to do the work.

“The solution is almost certainly going to have to come from within the community although we will need guidance from the Environment Agency.”

After the last floods that left some businesses in the town centre closed for many months and washed away the public conveniences, attempts were made to get the Environment Agency to fund a scheme at an estimated cost of £5 million.

But the town was told that under financial rules there would not be enough benefit to justify a scheme.

Experts said that action such as dredging the River Teme to make it deeper or creating areas upstream of the town to store flood water were not practical.

The only solution, according to engineers, is a complete flood wall around the town.

There was also a warning that partial measures such as limited areas of flood wall or bunds could actually make the situation worse by moving flooding from one part of town to another.

But Mr Hudson believes that some action may be possible and that doing nothing simply means that it will be a case of when and not if flooding returns.

“It is easy to forget but the impact of flood water can be terrible for the people who are affected,” he said.

The Mayor said that there appear to be no pattern to flooding anymore and that what is happening in other parts of the country should act as a warning that something must be done before it is too late.