Archive for July, 2007

Useful advice for when the water returns

Remember that the returning water isn’t yet drinkable quality. Severn Trent advise:

We must remind customers that when water is restored, it must not be used for drinking, even after boiling. It’s perfectly safe to use for showering, bathing, flushing toilets and washing clothes.

We’ve published some useful advice on our page, when water supplies return. Bottle and bowser water will continue to be available.

Council staff give out bottled water at B&Q car park, Cheltenham

National play day postponed

The celebration of national play day in Cheltenham will now take place on Wednesday 8 August. It was due to happen tomorrow but flood damaged equipment needs to be replaced in the meantime.

This event will now be held from 11am-4pm at Pittville Park near the Pump Room next week on Wednesday 8th.

Paws in the Park is cancelled

Unfortunately due to the floods, this weekend’s Paws in the Park event is cancelled. All of the people involved in Paws in the Park are looking forward to making next year’s event bigger and better than ever!

School is out! Holiday clubs are back on.

All four of our holiday clubs are open from today, Tuesday 31 July.

The play schemes are now running at St Peters church hall, Swindon Village hall, Oasis youth centre and Hillview community centre after the delayed start due to the floods and lack of water. The holiday clubs offer a variety of activities for 5-15 year olds and cost £3.90 for a full day or £1.95 for half a day. Registration is at 10 am and they are open until 3.30pm.

National play day which was scheduled to take place tomorrow, Wednesday 1st August, is postponed until Wednesday 8 August because of replacing lost equipment caused by the flooding. This event will now be held from 11am-4pm at Pittville Park next week on Wednesday 8th August.

Don’t drink the water yet

Just a quick reminder, please read our page when water supplies return.

Well done to staff at Cheltenham Borough Homes

Over the last ten days, Cheltenham Borough Homes’ staff have delivered 100,000 bottles of water to the elderly and vulnerable. Twelve Cheltenham Borough Homes’ vans are delivering water daily to 500 tenants living in sheltered accommodation and 200 vulnerable individuals. Staff have also been giving out water at distribution sites and delivering leaflets to tenants, advising them about how to manage with the water shortage. Some staff have also assisted vulnerable tenants with sanitation issues.

Paul Davies, chief executive of Cheltenham Borough Homes said:

Staff have done the right thing for our residents and are doing a good job of protecting the vulnerable in this crisis.

Cheltenham Borough Homes staff deliver water to their tenants

Cheltenham Borough Homes staff help out

Crushing water bottles for recycling

Insurance advice for flood-affected households

There have been reports in the media of ‘entrepreneurs’ targeting flood affected areas with offers to help households progress their insurance claims for a percentage of the payout.

The Government is keen to ensure that practical information is made available to flood affected communities on where they can go for free independent advice on insurance matters.

The advice is:

  • Claims can be made directly and free of charge to your insurer. They are regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and they have to handle your claim fairly
  • Free, independent advice is available face-to-face and by telephone from the Citizen’s Advice Service on 01242 522491
  • The FSA and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) are also useful places to turn to for further information on insurance matters
  • You should think carefully before enlisting a third party’s help in progressing your insurance claim
  • If you do decide to hire a third party – make sure you check how much it will cost you first as they may charge a share of any sum paid out by the insurer. You should also check that they are regulated by the FSA or are an exempt professional firm such as a law firm.

Continue reading ‘Insurance advice for flood-affected households’

Service with a smile

Cheltenham Borough Council staff helping distribute bottled water at B&Q - service with a smile :)

Remember to read our information page, when the water supplies return.

When the water first returns it is not fit to drink. Our bottled water distribution centres will continue to operate, and of course, the Severn Trent bowsers are still out there in our community (see our emergency water supplies page)

Recycle your bottles, please don’t dump them

Our emergency team is asking people to dispose of their plastic bottles by using the new recycling banks.

Unfortunately some people are leaving their empty bottles next to the bowsers, rather than disposing of them properly. With the thousands of plastic bottles being used during the water shortage, it is important to recycle the bottles, rather than leave them lying around town.

The recycling banks are situated at each of the water distribution points: B&Q, Homebase, Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s (Priors Road) and North Place car park. Teams of staff are regularly empting the banks and will continue to do so as often as possible, although demand is clearly very high.

Important news for local businesses

The South West of England regional development agency is making available up to £2m as an emergency fund to help support those businesses hit most severely by the floods.

A special webpage has been set up to provide information and guidance.

Urgent – volunteers required

Despite water being returned to many properties over the next few days there is still the urgent need for volunteers. If you can spare any time to distribute water at one of the five distribution centres then please contact the Volunteers Bureau on 01242 257727.

A letter from the Queen

A letter from the Queen

Are we going to get our water back today?

Here’s the latest from Martin Kane, Severn Trent’s director of customer services:

Today, engineers are switching attention to Cheltenham and neighbouring areas such as Brockworth, Upton, Matson and Fox Elms and are hopeful they will have these areas reconnected within the next 24 hours.

He also added the following:

We must remind customers that when water is restored, it must not be used for drinking, even after boiling. It’s perfectly safe to use for showering, bathing, flushing toilets and washing clothes.

Remember to read our advice page, when the water supplies return.

When water supplies return

If everything goes to plan it looks like the water supplies for Cheltenham will return on on Tuesday 31 July.

Read our advice page, when water supplies return.

Tour around Cheltenham’s flood damaged leisure facilities

The images and video below show Stephen Petherick the commercial manager of leisure@cheltenham touring the darkened corridors of the flood damaged leisure centre. The insurance inspectors who visited a couple of days ago described it as one of the worst hit facilities in the region. Everything is now coated in a fine layer of silt, and on the walls a tide mark that shows the extent of the water. Sprung wooden floors are bowed and distorted and equipment lies scattered where it settled when the flood waters receded.

Everyone would like to thank the wonderful community around the centre, the residents of Hudson Street, Manser Street and Tommy Taylors Lane who provided food and drinks during the night of the flood and the period afterwards. Their support has been brilliant.

Cheltenham's devastated leisure facilities after the flood

Cheltenham's devastated leisure facilities after the flood

Cheltenham's devastated leisure facilities after the flood

Thank you

A thank you letter from someone who took refuge in Pittville Pump Room during on 20/21 July

Spread the word

Three things to remember today:

1. If you get the chance, turn off your mains water supply at the stop-cock

This will prevent the sudden return to mains water pressure from causing any leaks as the water powers into your domestic pipes (the stop cock is usually located under the sink, turn it off clockwise). Obviously, make sure all taps are closed, then turn the water on slowly once the mains water has returned.

However, if you cannot follow this advice, do not worry. The chances are that most people will have very few problems as the mains pressure returns.

2. The water that returns initially is not safe to drink

It cannot be used for drinking, food preparation or cleaning teeth even after boiling. We will let you know once it is safe to treat as normal.

3. Inform your neighbours, especially the elderly

Please pass on the advice above. Take time to check on any elderly relatives or neighbours and help them with these simple instructions.

Recycling banks now in place for plastic bottles

The emergency team here at Cheltenham Borough Council is pleased to confirm that five new plastic bottle recycling banks are now in place in the town.

With the thousands of plastic bottles being used during the water shortage, the council urges people to recycle the bottles. The recycling banks are situated at each of the water distribution points:

  • B&Q
  • Homebase
  • Morrison’s
  • Sainsbury’s (Priors Road)
  • North Place car park

Whilst the banks have only recently been put into place, the demand to use them is clearly very high. Teams of staff from the council are regularly emptying the banks and will continue to do so as often as possible. People are asked remove the lids from the bottles and squash them down, in order to get as many bottles into the banks as possible.

Plastic bottle for recycling

Water tankers in Cheltenham today

Monday – In addition to the hundreds of bowsers that are currently in Cheltenham, today there are also four large water tankers in town.

The tankers will be in position until 8pm this evening in the following places:

  • B&Q
  • Coronation Square
  • Cheltenham Football ground
  • Matalan

People are urged to go to one of these large tankers as a lot of water is available.

Check our emergency water supplies page for a list of all distribution sites.

Thank you

There was a good atmosphere at our water distribution centres over the weekend. We’ve heard of lots of stories like this, so we’ll let Sarah’s words speak for everyone here.

(normally Sarah works as a research and development officer here at the council)


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