Archive for August, 2007

Across the county, schools will open as normal

The majority of Gloucestershire County Council’s schools will be opening as normal for the beginning of term next week, despite many having suffered damage during the floods.

However, a number of schools, youth centres, children’s centres and other facilities will still be dealing with the impact of last month’s flooding.

Continue reading ‘Across the county, schools will open as normal’

Thank you

Thank you

Gloucestershire flood relief fund

The Gloucestershire flood relief fund website is a great success, with the fund total now standing at £644,399. Take a look at the website for the latest news on fund raising events across the county.

Bowser

Funny, how a word that was perhaps just a quirky dogs name suddenly became a word that everyone was talking about just a few weeks ago.

Introducing Mr Sylvanus Bowser…

Mr Sylvanus Bowser was an American from Indiana who invented the ‘self measuring gasoline storage pump’ launched in 1905. It consisted of a 50 gallon metal storage tank, housed in a wooden cabinet, which was set up in front of a store. The petrol was then dispensed into the car through a flexible hose, driven by a manual suction pump.

He went up to set up his own company, S.F. Bowser & Company, which expanded to deal with other types of commercial liquid. Mr Bowser was so famous that he even had a street named after him in his hometown – Bowser Avenue.

Eventually bowser became a generic term for any type of self propelled liquid tanker dispensing fluids. Here in the UK we use the term to refer to those wheeled water tankers we all grew to know and love during the recent flooding emergency.

Water bowser

Leisure facilities will return

A temporary gym and fitness suite with thirty fitness stations is rising from the flood water of our flagship sports centre, just five weeks after loss adjustors described the damage as catastrophic.

Ou customers had to evacuate leisure@cheltenham on Friday 20 July as flood water began pouring from the nearby lake into the centre. Fire services had to close off the immediate area because of the threat of chemical explosion as gas tanks. At its highest, the torrent of water reached levels of five feet across the leisure centre’s ground floor. After a 24-hour operation to pump out water, fire crews made the building safe for council staff to begin assessing the damage.

Continue reading ‘Leisure facilities will return’

Are you changing schools due to flooding?

An important message for parents at the start of term.

If you have moved house because of the recent flooding and your children need to change school, or you’ve moved and need help getting to your existing school, then Gloucestershire County Council can help.

Contact the school admissions team on 01452 425407/8 as soon as possible so that we can ensure your child is able to go back to school in September. If you already get special travel arrangements call the transport entitlement team on 01452 425390.

Hidden heroes, Rose from Longlevens

Rose lives in Cyprus Gardens, Longlevens, Gloucester. She was flooded earlier in July. Her home had just dried out and the builders were in when she was flooded again. She was on holiday at the time and came home at the height of the crisis to find she had lost everything, the flood water came through the letter box and there was a layer of mud in the house.

However, Rose says it was all a matter of degree as she did not have any sewage in the house like some of her neighbours! Rose had been on holiday, but went back to work as expected the following Monday wearing her wellies to look after vulnerable people and remained at her post for several days before the impact of her own personal disaster got the better of her.

Gloucestershire County Council Carers continued to work throughout the emergency often overcoming the worst of the floods to reach some of the county’s most vulnerable residents.

On a day-to-day basis, they carry out their jobs without fuss and away from the glare of publicity yet never was their dedication more needed.

Remember our how to help page if you think you can help someone, and please visit the Gloucestershire flood relief fund website if you can make a donation.

Cheltenham floods 20-07-2007

£610,209.39 raised so far…

So far £175,409.39 has been donated by the public to the Gloucestershire Flood Relief Fund. This figure added to the contributions from businesses amounts to a total of £610,209.39!

More information on the flood relief fund website.

Thank you

Please pass on my thanks to all the staff, volunteers who worked during the floods, particularly at the Pittville Pump Room. My son, his friends and I were made very comfortable, fed and watered and given a floor for the night when we got stranded on our way home from Weymouth. The staff and volunteers were calm and efficient, giving information as it became available. The girls and boys from London en route to an outdoor trip were a credit to their school/group.
Many thanks again and I hope that your are nearing normality!

What’s been happening?

A lot has been going on recently, so here’s a brief recap on the big stories post flood:

Mayor to hold reception for flood heroes

The Mayor of Cheltenham, John Rawson, is holding a reception to thank ‘local heroes’ who helped people get through the flooding emergency.

Read the story in the Echo.

Rogue traders beware

Trading standards officers teamed up with the police, customs and excise and benefit fraud officers to look out for rogue traders arriving in the county yesterday, 15th August.

Since the floods officers from Gloucestershire county council trading standards service have been visiting flood victims to warn of the problems that can be caused by rogue traders carrying out repair work on people’s homes.

This approach appears to have paid off as trading standards officers report that no new complaints have been received since the visits began, and consumers have been sending doorstep sellers on their way.

Continue reading ‘Rogue traders beware’

Cheltenham will get £600,000 government funding

Communities secretary Hazel Blears has announced that 36 local authorities affected by the July floods will receive a share of £6.2m of government funding to help the people in their communities in the greatest need.

This is great news for Cheltenham and our neighbours, Gloucester and Tewkesbury.

You can read the full article on the communities.gov.uk website.

What do you think?

The Government wants victims of the floods to have their say in its investigation. The environment, food and rural affairs committee has decided to hold an inquiry into last month’s flooding and it wants to hear from people directly affected.

Its work will contribute to a wider ‘lessons learned’ inquiry into the June floods which seeks to find out what, if anything, should have been done to prevent the damage.

To have your say email the committee on efracom@parliament.uk stating a contact name, telephone number and postal address. Submissions should be no more than 3,000 words.

Gloucestershire flood relief fund website launched

screenshot of the Gloucestershire flood relief fund website

The Gloucestershire flood relief fund, which was formed a little over a week ago to help victims of the July 2007 floods in Gloucestershire, has launched a fund raising website at www.glosfloodrelief.org

Continue reading ‘Gloucestershire flood relief fund website launched’

Charity wants to give out grants quickly

The Gloucestershire flood relief fund is urging households affected by the floods to send in their applications for hardship grants by Friday 24th August. So far, 300 applications have already been received from the 5,000 households affected throughout the county. The charity, which was only set up eight days ago, is keen to help flood victims as quickly as it can.

Continue reading ‘Charity wants to give out grants quickly’

Sandford Park lido opens today

Whilst our own leisure facilities are being repaired we know there are lots of you out there desperate for a good local pool. Well, the lido re-opens today after an extensive refit. It’s a wonderful piece of local history and well worth supporting.

As it says on the lido website:

The lido is a great day out in the heart of Cheltenham, on the edge of the Cotswolds. It is a children’s paradise with slides, a children’s pool and a paddling pool. Our 50 metre pool is also an ideal place to train, two lanes are reserved most days.

We wish them every success.

Sandford Park Lido main pool

Have you seen one of these?

Water bowser

No, we couldn’t believe it either, but apparently Severn Trent can’t find all the bowsers that were distributed during the crisis. If you’ve spotted one hanging around a street corner, please let them know. Follow the link above for all the contact details.

Fantastic news for our leisure centre customers

We’ve now got some great news about progress at our flood devastated leisure facilities

Right now we have a contractor on the site building some temporary premises. We’re planning a thirty station fitness suite and a fitness studio where a selection of classes and courses can be held. The facilities will be fully air conditioned, have shower and changing accommodation and have disability access. It will all take a few weeks to complete, but work is in progress.

Sonia Phillips, our assistant director for health and wellbeing said:

We still await a date from the contractor when the temporary premises will be handed over to us, however it is likely that the facility will be available for use towards the end of September. We will do our best to update and inform our customers of all developments, particularly when a confirmed opening date is known. In the meantime, a specialist contractor has now commenced with the initial strip-out work at centre. This is a major operation which includes the removal of all contaminated debris from the site.

and Anne Regan the cabinet member for safer and stronger communities added:

I would like to thank all those who have expressed their support to the centre during recent weeks and give my assurance that we are doing everything we can to minimise the period of disruption that the closure has caused. leisure@cheltenham serves more than 111,000 residents so I am pleased that we will shortly have facilities for people to use.

This really positive news follows the recent visit of James Schiro, Zurich Global’s chief executive to show his support and oversee the insurance investigation.

Scenes like this will return…
Excercise class at Cheltenham's leisure facilities

5350 homes in need

Following a survey completed by council workers across the county rough totals for the number of households affected by the floods are as follows:

  • Cheltenham 1200
  • Cotswold 1150
  • Forest of Dean 100
  • Gloucester 1150
  • Stroud 250
  • Tewkesbury 1500

The total number of houses in the county that were flooded (that we know of) currently stands at 5350, with leftover questionaires being completed this week. There is clearly a lot of work still to be done.

If your home was flooded and you were out when we called you should have been left a form to identify who you are and the extent of the damage. Can you please return this as soon as possible to:

  • Erin Davies, Cheltenham Borough council, Municipal offices, Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 9SA

If you have a completed flood fund application form then please send this to:

A big thanks to all the surveyors who travelled around the county visiting homes and listening to residents’ needs.


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