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