Our response to the EA on their proposals for further short-term measures for Oxford

14 July 2010

Oxford Short Term Measures 2

Thank you for asking for comments on your proposals. Here are ours:

Willow Walk – fine.

Hinksey Stream – welcome. We hope the work will include removal of the trees which seem to be actually in the stream upstream of the bridge.

Wareham Stream – we think that it is hardly worth maintaining the stream if the sluices are not renovated. Both inlets from Castle Mill Stream are useless, and the sluice at the brewery is not operated. Therefore in a flood there is not much flow.

Other ideas
We are disappointed that other, more ambitious, options were not pursued. We believe there are many things in our document “Building on Success – Suggestions for medium-term measures to further reduce the risk of flooding in Oxford and the surrounding area” launched this March, which would be well worth doing and we look forward to discussing them with you soon.

Lamarsh Road
In the meantime, our top priority remains to achieve a new flood route via Lamarsh Road in the now very limited time available. We understand that you share this wish and are working hard at it, which we appreciate. For now we would rather achieve this than anything else, as we made plain at our meeting in South Hinksey in March. If funding is not possible in any other way then we think money should be diverted from one or other of the Short Term Measures 2. They could be done later, whereas Lamarsh can’t.
It would be dreadful to fail to implement the Lamarsh scheme. Doing so, on the other hand, would be a great success and improve the lot of many people who have been flooded repeatedly and remain at high risk.

Oxford Flood Alliance, July 13th 2010.

‘Building on Success’

16 March 2010

‘Building on Success’ is the name we’ve chosen for our new suggestions for further reducing the risk of flooding of the City of Oxford and the surrounding area.

The title reflects the real improvements since 2007 – but that at the same time there is more to be done. Our suggestions are modest, achievable and we believe are very good value for money. It’s not doing them that will be seen to be expensive when the heavy rains come again, as, inevitably, they will.

Reducing flooding is important for the whole community:

• flooded individuals and flooded families, who may be out of their homes for months
• businesses out of action or their trade affected
• travel disrupted, difficulties in getting to work and getting about by road and rail
• power cuts
• emergency services at full stretch
• huge financial costs for individuals and businesses who are flooded
• huge financial costs for everybody else – costs to commerce, to City, District and County Councils, and nationally.

A city that keeps flooding is expensive and bad for everybody. That’s why we’re asking organisations who up to now have had nothing directly to do with flooding to join us in trying to keep Oxford dry. We don’t yet know for sure, but climate change may well make flooding worse.

We’re holding a meeting next week to launch our suggestions. We’ve invited people from various authorities and Oxford groups. We’re asking politicians, at all levels, to help us. We’ll let you know what they say and how we get on.

Building on Success, OFA, March 2010

The three pinchpoints

01 February 2010

The three pinchpoints we targeted at Redbridge have now been dealt with. Last to go, the level crossing bridge which was obstructing the Main River at Redbridge known as Hinksey Drain (see here), has now been completely removed by Network Rail.

More work still needs to be done at Munday’s. In the much longer term a way may need to be found to get water under the railway even more effectively.

Medium-Term Measures

20 January 2010

We are well on with producing our proposals for further Medium-Term Flood Measures for Oxford (see 22 Dec, Flood Scheme Postponed). Following a meeting last week of OFA’s Steering Group and our Allies from all parts of Oxford and surrounding area, everybody’s contributions are being assembled into a final document. We have decided how to present this. By the end of the month launch plans should be finalised. We believe that our suggestions will offer real hope of further significant reduction of flood risk – keeping more people dry in their homes and businesses.

OFA Annual Public Meeting, 2009

3 December 2009

We had a successful meeting on 26 November 2009. Over 80 people attended, from all our areas and including City Councillors, County Councillors and Prospective Parliamentary Candidates. We welcomed Charles Tucker, Vice-Chair of the National Flood Forum who spoke of the work of the NFF, including currently in Cumbria. The Wolvercote Commoners have recently joined the Alliance and we were pleased to have Nigel Walmsley attending on their behalf.

Bottles of “OFA 2009, Special Star Reserve” wine were presented to our new Flood Stars Susanna Pressel and Nigel Bray, who were thanked for all they had done for flooded people in the area. Mary Timbrell, our third Star, could not attend as she was away, but a bottle awaits her return.

The meeting resolved to send a message of support to Cockermouth and Keswick. (This has now been done.)

Members of the Steering Group presented a review of the past year’s achievements, and looked forward to next year.

A lively discussion followed with many contributions from the floor. OFA was thanked by the audience for what it had achieved so far.

New Flood Star

4 September 2009

Mary Timbrell of Duke Street chosen as OFA Flood Star for September 2009.

Mary has lived in Duke Street for 70 years. She is an active member of the local community and after the 2000 flood became an Environment Agency Flood Warden. Today she is still helping residents in Duke Street.  Mary is a consistent attendee at community flood meetings, where her local knowledge and concern for fellow residents is evident. She is a great asset to the local community.