The Abingdon Blog

The Abingdon Blog is a photo record of events and places in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, started on January 1st 2006.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Flood Meeting - quick roundup

(Pictures taken on the Sunday Morning of the Ock flood)

(looking down Marcham Road)

Dr Evan Harris hosted a meeting tonight at which representatives from various agencies were asked questions by the public, and himself. Five months on, people were still angry at the lack of a flood warning. The Environment Agency (EA) explained that their flood warning control room, had only two people in it, and had been overwhelmed by the widespread flooding that day. They did not give a Flood Warning before the proper measures were in - for fear of being seen to be 'crying wolf'.

(Drayton Road Bridge)

Looking forward there were not that many ideas proposed to protect the whole area should it happen again, although the EA did guarantee a two hour Flood Warning next time.

(Looking across the fields from Mill Road towards Tesco)

The Environment Agency (EA) have a report out today. They said more dredging would not help. It could be useful removing the unused footbridge 'pinch point' near St Helens Mill, but that would only help a few properties. Dr Harris argued we should start there, and then work backwards - looking at widening the channel under the Drayton Road bridge, once the flow at the town end had been improved.

The EA are looking at a flood relief area just west of the A34 and Tesco - to hold more water from the Ock. Its still a possibility, but may not score high enough on the EA prioritisation system which calculates number of properties protected against cost. (And no, it's not the proposed reservoir!)

(Francis Little Drive)

Some people had been to the Flood Fair in Oxford yesterday to learn about 'flood resilient' repairs. The Flood Forum web site has more information. There is also likely to be such a fair in Abingdon, but people who had been said such devices can be expensive, and elderly people on pensions complained they could not afford them.

(bottom of Caldecott Road)

Just quickly finish the roundup: No improvement to the Stert River defence is envisaged at Tilsley Park. Downstream, the Stert Street culvert is to be improved in places. As always Radley Lakes got a big cheer, but the EA said NO to looking again at Radley Lakes ... in terms of flooding. The EA have limited manpower, and have had 25% cuts in funding recently (Dr Harris had already argued that it is central government must take a large part of the blame if the EA locally cannot afford to do what they should be doing, and he needed to know what could be done with more money in order to press central government.)


Blogger Martin G said...

I was at this meeting and think your summary was spot on. The message that clearly came through was that a lot of work could be carried out if funding was available.
Never mind - at least we've got the 20012 Olympics to look forward to...

17 November 2007 09:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not Evan Harris' greatest fan, but he hosted that meeting really well. He also promised to set up a follow-up meeting in six months time to see what progress has been made, and what has been acted on.

Let's make sure that promise is kept.

9 December 2007 07:16  

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