Sustainable flood plans needed for Oxfordshire and Thames Valley

As parts of England are again engulfed in flood water we must have sustainable plans in place in Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley.

As people in the north and west of England wait for the waters to peak and subside to count the cost of the current and recent flooding, the Sustainable Flood Plan Group (SFPG) for Oxford and the upper Thames Valley has raised concerns that without a comprehensive plan in place to tackle climate change, and with further cuts expected to local authority flood
protection services, Oxfordshire may be the next county to again be overwhelmed by flood water.

Dr. Kate Prendergast, convenor of SFPG and Green Party Oxford City Council candidate for Carfax, said:

"In the last year or so, we have heard politicians extoll the benefits of the proposed western conveyance channel (WCC) in protecting the residents of Oxford from future flooding events. Yet, this hugely costly scheme is unlikely to be implemented unless local landowners take on the unknown and ongoing expenses of its maintenance.

Moreover, without tackling climate change and agricultural and urban development - the root causes of more frequent extreme flooding events - any defences will not be equal to the task and will simply displace the water onto communities downstream. This means more and more people will have find themselves having to pay for the effects of flooding themselves.”

Dr. David Thomas, chartered water engineer and Green Party Councillor for Holywell said:

"In an environment where devastating flood events are becoming more frequent, it is still not clear what the current spending commitments for flood protection in Oxford actually are. We are no nearer to funding our long-term needs for flood protection in Oxford and beyond. We believe these are best met by immediate investments into upland and upstream initiatives, including planting more trees, targeted relief projects, protection of the flood plain and a sustained commitment locally and globally to rapidly cut carbon in line with our global commitments.”

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