Following serious flooding, this small Parish, with a population of 532, concluded that it needed to act.
However, it faced a number of challenges:
- The Parish was told that the main flood risk concerns were in nearby towns like Malmesbury and Chippenham.
- It needed to engage the Environment Agency, Highways Agency and principal local authority to influence how they maintained the water courses, culverts and drains in the area to mitigate against this happening again in future.
Using its Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA) licence from Ordnance Survey (managed using open source QGIS software) the Parish Council was able to establish that more homes had been affected in the Dauntsey Parish than anywhere else in the county.
Creating digital maps also helped to illustrate the extent of serious flooding and allowed all drains, culverts and minor water courses to be marked up online.
The capacity of these waterways could also be inputted, allowing problems to be predicted. Plus, information showing which body was responsible for maintaining each waterway meant work could be prioritised.
- The Parish Council’s use of professional looking maps meant that its evidence on flooding was taken more seriously.
- The GIS analysis has assisted affected households in pursing their flooding compensation claims.
- They could receive and share geographic data with the other statutory organisations.
- They were able to analyse local water courses and flood impacts across its area.
- As a result the Highways Agency has significantly altered its maintenance programme by bringing in annual inspections and improved maintenance contracts.
- The Parish Council now works more closely with the Wiltshire Council maintenance team, which is saving both time and effort.