John Redwood cautiously welcomes flood prevention measures by the Environment Agency

Wokingham MP John Redwood has welcomed news that the Environment Agency is to carry out work at the River Loddon to reduce the risk of flooding. However, he warns that the agency is still playing a reactive game, and that it needs to be much more proactive in removing the causes of flood water from the river.

In a letter to Berkshire MPs, the Environment Agency has said it is to carry out work at the River Loddon starting on Saturday the 27th March. This work will include:

Removing an isolated shoal of silt that has built up at Loddon Bridge, to cut back the shoal downstream of Loddon Bridge in line with the original river bank in order to remove any restriction to the river channel.
Removal of the concrete spoil from the construction collapse below at A329M fly-over and associated silt. This is planned for later in the year. Gravels removed during these works will be separated, cleaned and re-installed into the river, where they will not create any flood risk.

John Redwood has expressed disappointment that the Environment Agency will not be carrying out any dredging of the river, as they do not believe full scale dredging will have any impact of preventing flooding.

Speaking about the work, John said: “I am pleased that the Environment Agency is getting round to the serious work of removing blockages to the river as I have been persuading them to do so for some time”.

“What we ultimately need is a flood alleviation scheme alongside a commitment to regular, planned monitoring of water channels and maintenance or dredging as soon as obstacles or blockages appear. This way, we will be able to prevent problems with flooding and stop taking reactive measures every time we suffer a supposedly ‘once in a hundred years’ rainfall”.

“I will continue pressing the Environment Agency to do what is necessary to prevent future incidents of flooding”.