This is the text of my reply to the latest report I have received from the Environment Agency about local flooding. I have also written to the Chairman of the Agency seeking more action:
Thank you for your email. Of course I, and many of my constituents are vigilant, and are well aware of the floods to date and the risk of more floods. What we want is for the Agency to do something to give our area greater resilience against floods when it rains. This is not a unique or one off event. Floods are now a regular part of our daily lives in the Thames Valley.
In my constituency yet again the main road the A 327 into Reading was closed. Sindlesham Mill road was closed. Many back roads through low lying country areas are flooded. Loddon Bridge roundabout is experiencing another build up of water. Homes in low lying areas are now badly affected in some cases, and at risk in others.
I have been asking for years for the Agency to take the following actions
- Dredge the Loddon to create more capacity to take water away
- Clear and maintain the many ditches, culverts and smaller water courses that feed into the rivers.
- Work with the Highways Authority about clearing surface water from roads
- Install water retention areas behind bunds for the Emm to handle excess water run off
- Work with the Water companies over sewer outfalls, pumping and waste water disposal
- To offer strong advice against any further building on floodplain unless accompanied by plans to manage water in a way which reduces rather than increases the risk of flooding.
When is the Agency going to start doing some of these things? Do you now have an action plan? Where does our share of the our £1200 million a year budget go? I look forward to a proper reply.