Sandbags placed at spots around Uttlesford ahead of winter weather

Cllr Alastair Walters (right) fills sandbags for Felsted resident Reg Bentall, parish clerk Diane Sm

Cllr Alastair Walters (right) fills sandbags for Felsted resident Reg Bentall, parish clerk Diane Smith and Uttlesford District Council’s Emergency Planning Officer Lisa Lipscombe. - Credit: Archant

Stocks of sandbags have been put in place around Uttlesford as part of a project aimed at giving residents a helping hand this winter.

Uttlesford District Council no longer supplies sandbags but has made funds available to support local parishes following unprecedented weather conditions earlier this year, when some parts of the district experienced severe flooding.

All parish councils within the district were contacted with details of the initiative, and 20 took up the offer. A total of 2,100 rot-proof bags and bagged sand have now been issued in preparation for the wetter months of the year.

Cllr Alastair Walters, cabinet member with responsibility for emergency planning, said: “We are used to seeing some short duration or temporary surface flooding, but the level of rainfall experienced in February was unprecedented.

“If a supply of sandbags had been more accessible in local places, perhaps some of the water could have been diverted and saved some of the distress.”

He added: “Uttlesford District Council does not have a legal duty to supply sandbags and indeed it is much more effective for sandbags to be held at parish level. Therefore I am delighted we have been able to make available this money to supply those parishes who felt they needed them, with sandbags in anticipation that this type of incident could be averted in future.

“This is not a continuous stream of funding – it is a one-off project designed to give those who requested a supply a head start this winter.”

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In addition to the provision of sandbags, each of the parishes who took up the offer had to assure the district council they had emergency response plans in place and people who could distribute them on receipt of a flood warning.

Cllr Walters said: “We would encourage anyone who has suffered flooding recently, or is aware that their property is affected by seasonal or occasional flooding, to look at what they can do to protect their property.”

Residents are advised to contact their local parish council if they are concerned about flooding and wish to know if sandbags will be available.

For live flood alert information and advice on flooding, visit