Hambledon’s community spirit praised

Portsmouth coastguard called to reports of a body near Chichester

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THE community spirit in Hambledon has been praised as hundreds of volunteers continue to turn out in force to help those in areas vulnerable to flooding.

Hampshire County Council leader Cllr Roy Perry said: ‘I’ve received positive feedback about how communities are pulling together to maintain business as usual, building on the superb example set by Hambledon.

‘To have only two schools out of around 500 closed (St Bede in Winchester and Fordingbridge Junior School), is a real testimony to the efforts of local people, our staff and partners.’

It has been the wettest January for more than 200 years and a further month’s worth of rainfall has been predicted over the next few days. A meeting with the police, fire service, county council, district councils and the Environment Agency took place yesterday.

Executive member for environment Cllr Sean Woodward said: ‘It was a briefing to see how all of these various agencies interact to make sure we are doing the best we can for our residents.

‘This weekend alone, we had over 70 staff working 12-hour shifts, providing 24-hour cover, with 10,000 sandbags deployed in just 48 hours.’