Parish and town councillors from across Hampshire are working in partnership with the County Council as winter sets in a bid to strengthen community resilience.
Around 100 representatives joined talks with the County Council in Winchester last week on how to manage flood risks, mitigate the effects of flooding, address funding challenges and help strengthen resilience.
Cllrr Seán Woodward, Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, who opened the event, said: "We were reminded again last winter how effective working together with communities can be in connecting the views and needs of local residents with those of all the statutory agencies. Parish and town Councils have a very important role in helping prepare and embed community resilience, and we are committed to working with all our partners to ensure that best use is made of the resources available. Our shared knowledge and experience can help us become better prepared for the future, both in terms of responding to flooding events, but also in maximising the impact of flood defence funding and working with different partners across boundaries.
"Since last winter, we have been working hard to repair the roads damaged by the floods, putting extra resource and focus into extra drainage schemes and gully work. We were successful in bidding for money from Government for flood recovery and repairs, and now await news of our bids for flood defence and alleviation measures.
"Despite the damage to the roads inflicted by the weather, it was very encouraging to see that Hampshire was the top performing authority in the country for highways maintenance in this year's National Highways and Transport public satisfaction survey. The support provided by parish and town councils in this is hugely valued in enabling us to provide such an efficient and responsive service."
The Chairman of the Hampshire Partnership and Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry, said: "It was good to see Hampshire's Highways contractors Amey demonstrate the latest equipment to deal with potholes and roads maintenance. Using modern and efficient technology enables us to repair more potholes more quickly and no doubt is one of the reasons why Hampshire has come out tops for road maintenance. I know there will always be potholes but we want to get them repaired as quickly as possible and I do encourage residents and road users to report any potholes."
Steven Lugg, Chief Executive of the Hampshire Association of Local Councils, said: "In serving residents' best interests local government needs to work differently, and together. Local highways support is just one of the areas where parishes and towns can add low cost support to the objective of safe, clean and drained highways. We look to every council as community leaders to make a contribution to Hampshire life."