Ross Town Councillors will be setting up a new support group involving the community preparing for future emergencies such as flooding or the cornavirus.

A proposal to set up a new community working group to deal with emergency planning was unanimously voted in favour by councillors at the recent town council meeting on Monday, March 9.

The motion was proposed by Cllr Chris Bartrum on behalf of deputy mayor Daniel Lister who was not able to be present at the meeting.

Cllr Bartrum said: “The motion proposed by Cllr Lister is for this town council to review how we can improve responses to emergencies such as the recent floods and co-ordinate a community resilience plan to work together in a more effective and efficient way to reduce harm to our residents.”

Cllr Symonds seconded the motion and added that a number of people in Ross affected by the flooding showed ‘good initiative and resourcefulness’ to not only help themselves but also their neighbours, and that from talking to a number of businesses in Brookend Street where flooding was its worst, it was clear that Cllr Lister responded incredibly effectively on behalf of the council, and was very visible and helpful to those affected by the floods.

Cllr Symonds proposed a vote of thanks to Cllr Lister for the work he did during the flooding.

Cllr Louis Stark added that he believed something was needed within the town, citing that with many areas around the county being affected by recent floods it is not practical to solely rely on organisations such as Balfour Beatty, and that the motion was both useful and timely.

Mayor Jane Roberts suggested that any working group set up would not be solely based on flooding but would concider various emergency scenarios which could be planned for, including coronavirus, and how the town respond to that.

In his proposal Cllr Lister had suggested that Cllr Simeon Cole and Cllr John Winder could be involved in setting up any group, whilst the Mayor Jane Roberts added that it would be important to have a representative from the Community Development Trust. She offered her services as part of the organisation of any group.

Cllr Roberts said that in the process of setting up such a group the council would need to look for broader community engagement to get as many people within Ross involved as possible.

Residents are encouraged not to go into the town council offices and to ring or email councillors instead.