West Oxfordshire continues flood protection work
As part of National Flood Risk Awareness week, West Oxfordshire District Council is urging residents to do all they can to protect their homes from flooding.
In July 2007, 1,631 homes and 72 businesses in West Oxfordshire were flooded and the District Council wants to reassure residents that flood prevention and protection work is still being carried out, with over £600,000 being spent on improvements this year.
Much of the money has been secured by West Oxfordshire District Council as grant aid from DEFRA and the Environment Agency.
The District Council, working with the Environment Agency, Oxfordshire County Council, Thames Water and town and parish councils, is using the money to carry out a raft of flood defence works.
Over £200,000 is for flood protection equipment for individual properties identified at ‘high risk’. Equipment such as flood guards for doorways and pumps have been installed at 10 properties in Eastfield Road, Witney and 19 properties at Bampton. Similar devices will also be installed at 10 properties in Asthall.
Work has also been carried out in Eastfield and Hailey roads to build up kerbs, heighten grass verges and re-shape the green to make a swale so that flood waters are directed down the road into a stream. This work cost £60,000 and was a joint project between the District and County councils, Environment Agency and Cottsway Housing. It also included building a protective stone wall in West End, Witney, and flood guards to protect a small number of properties there.
Other flood defence works taking place this year which will protect properties in West Oxfordshire include:
· Bampton £50,000 on highway drainage and a water holding area
· Broadwell £50,000 to install water control measures
· Brize Norton £30,000 to carry out a survey which will potentially lead to building attenuation ponds
· Leafield £30,000 to build a earthen bund (barrier) and swale (shallow wide ditch)
· Fordwells £30,000 on highway drainage improvements
· Ramsden £25,000 on a new ditch system and highway drainage to relieve flooding in the village centre
· Witney £25,000 on a joint scheme with Witney Town Council to build a bund to protect homes in the Burwell area
· Filkins £25,000 for water flow control measures and a bund
· Witney £25,000 to investigate and install flow control measures for Madley Brook
· Cassington £20,000 to improve existing ditches and an existing pond
Smaller scale improvement projects are being investigated at locations that include Queen Emma’s Dyke in Witney, Minster Lovell, East End and Westwell.
Cllr David Harvey, Cabinet Member for Environment said, “Extensive protection work by the District Council and other agencies has not stopped since July 2007. We are proud to be the first authority in the country to have completed installation of individual property protection measures using DEFRA grant funding.
“In addition to specific schemes there is the ongoing maintenance of ditches and we are continuing to identify landowners to ensure that they too carry out their ditch clearing responsibilities. We are also encouraging self help wherever possible and have worked with flood affected parishes to produce emergency plans and set up sandbag collection points within communities.”
During the last year 6,000 Thames Valley Resilience Forum emergency planning booklets, called ‘Are you ready’, have been distributed to parishes in flood affected areas in West Oxfordshire.
West Oxfordshire District Council’s maintenance programme covers ditches that fall under the Council’s responsibility. Other ditches and watercourses are the responsibility of the relevant landowner. In areas where flooding is known to cause property damage, the Council is continuing to urge landowners to carry out their own ditch clearing responsibilities.
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