Every community relies on a bedrock of dedicated volunteers, but so often their priceless work takes place away from the public eye and remains unacknowledged.

That is why I want to make a special effort to single out the contribution of the individuals who make Buckinghamshire’s Flood Action Groups tick along so well. These groups act as a representative voice for their area and work with local authorities and agencies to find ways to help reduce flood risk.

Many exist in England and Wales, and in Bucks there are groups in a few towns, including Chesham and Hughenden where groups have recently formed. The groups aim to increase their towns’ resilience to flooding.

A number of Chesham residents have been working on increasing the town’s resilience to flooding through the Chesham Flood Action Group, formed in December 2013. The group has been working closely with the agencies involved in flood risk management, for example meeting with them in July 2014 to discuss a list of issues they had identified.

The Chesham Flood Action Group was formed as part of FloodSmart, a partnership project managed by Buckinghamshire County Council. In Hughenden, local residents formed the Drainage Improvement Group (DIG) as a response to the past winter’s flooding, which found many of them fighting to keep sewage-filled water from entering their homes. In Chesham, Hughenden and in Buckingham, where a flood group has been in place for several years, members of the public are giving up their own valuable time to help their fellow residents and work with Buckinghamshire County Council and other agencies. I can’t stress enough just how much their efforts are appreciated.

To find out more about these groups and how to form your own, go to www.buckscc.gov.uk/environment/flooding/ community-action/ — Lesley Clarke OBE, Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet Member for Planning and Environment