West Sussex County Council has landed a prestigious national award for its work helping communities protect themselves against flooding.
The County Council was recognised at The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) awards for its Operation Watershed initiative.
The event, held at One Whitehall Place in London, brought local authorities across the country together to celebrate work in communities.
Operation Watershed was crowned winner in the ‘Meaningful devolution for all communities across the UK’ category.
The initiative provided £3m in grants to community projects over the past four years.
It helped set up 23 flood action groups, grew closer relationships between communities and flood authorities, and gave towns and parishes a greater say in how flood resilience is managed in their areas.
West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Bob Lanzer, said: “I am delighted the hard work of our Operation Watershed team was recognised with this award.
“ADEPT is a well-respected national body representing directors of environment, planning and transport across the UK.
“There was a good number of nominations up for this particular award, so for Operation Watershed to win is a credit to the fantastic work the County Council has done to engage and empower our communities to become more resilient against flooding.”
The County Council today agreed to continue its Operation Watershed Active Community Fund for another year.
It committed to make a further £500,000 available for communities to bid for in 2017/18.
Any community or voluntary group within West Sussex can apply.
Bids are assessed on the following criteria:
- It directly benefits your community;
- It has strong community support;
- It demonstrates value for money;
- Has a clear way of measuring results; and
- Has support from the local elected member.
Bob added: “Operation Watershed has been so successful, and has won such recognition among local communities and nationally, that we have decided to re-invest a further £500,000 starting on 1 April to continue this fantastic project.
“It is having a substantial effect on reducing instances of flooding in the county.
“We want that work to continue.”
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