Mayor’s tribute for armed forces’ flood effort

Press Release: 04/03/2014

Cllr Rob Humby, The Mayor of Winchester and RAF Sergeant in Hambledon

On their second set of visits to the rural parishes of the Winchester District to view the impact of the recent floods, the Mayor and Mayoress of Winchester paid tribute to the contribution of the armed forces.

Cllr and Mrs Ernie Jeffs were escorted on a five-hour trip to Twyford and Hambledon last week by the Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Rob Humby. Together, they viewed houses damaged by water and sewage and businesses which had seen regular trade fall by up to 50%.

Cllr Humby said,

We see flood pictures on the television so regularly now that it’s easy to feel they are part and parcel of everyday life. But for those who have to deal with the aftermath of flooding, we are talking about months of cleaning up, insurance claims and redecorating. And on top of all that, there’s the emotional strain – worrying about money, about health and about whether this will all happen again in a few months’ time. I felt quite emotional by the end of the visit.

The Mayoral party was impressed, once again, by the level of self-help within each of the communities, and the co-ordinating role played by parish councils and local flood action groups. At Hambledon, where the floods have been going on for the best part of two months and are the worst in the District, the Mayor paid tribute to the role of the armed forces. Cllr Jeffs, said:

At a time when local people were beginning to feel really exhausted by the continued physical and emotional effort of fighting the floodwater, the armed forces have played a vital role in sustaining morale and confidence.

The Winchester District has been extremely fortunate in having help from a number of regiments, working on innovative major projects like the Easton river barrier and also essential local activities such as manning the pumps overnight in Hambledon. They have been well co-ordinated, genuinely keen to help and delightful additions to the local community. I would like to thank all those who have been involved.

Whilst the City Council continues to provide a joined-up response to ongoing water problems around the District, a growing focus for its work is now recovery and relief work – helping residents and businesses return to normal as quickly as possible. Flood advice is available on the Council’s website at