Meeting with Layla Moran, MP for Oxford West & Abingdon

We had a successful meeting with Layla Moran, new MP for Oxford West & Abingdon, last week.

We talked about the proposed extension of Seacourt P&R, to which we are strongly opposed. The proposal by Oxford City Council involves building in the floodplain and is in our view clearly contrary to national planning guidance. We see many other problems with the application too. We have submitted detailed comments in the past, and have now made further objections which can be found on the Oxford City Planning website:

https://www.oxford.gov.uk/info/20066/planning_applications/328/view_and_comment_on_planning_applications

The application reference number is 16/02745/CT3.

We shared with Layla our ideas about making the most of the opportunities for freshwater wildlife that the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme (OFAS) offers, and about ensuring robust arrangements for its maintenance long into the future.

Layla
  • is very supportive of our position on Seacourt.
  • aims to raise flooding in Parliament to address issues around how Flood Re is operating.
  • intends to join the All-party parliamentary group, APPG, for Flood Prevention.
  • is going to see what she can do to help secure the remaining money needed for OFAS.
  • was due to meet the Environment Agency soon after meeting us and would raise with them the question of long term maintenance for OFAS.
We look forward to working with Layla in the future.

Flood Re

We welcome the recent launch of the Flood Re insurance scheme, which should ensure every homeowner can get affordable flood insurance for their property, but only if it leads to wholesale changes to the way the insurance industry responds to flood events.

Insurers are being asked to pay into a central fund that will be used to cover the cost of claims made by homeowners affected by flooding. This should mean an end to the sky-high insurance premiums and policy excesses that many of us have had to endure over the years, and will allow people to insure their homes against flooding when previously it was unaffordable. The flip side is that it is likely insurers will pass the cost of the creating the fund onto all their policy holders which will result in an average increase in annual premiums of about £10.50 per household. It is also only available to owner-occupied properties, not those in rental accommodation.

To find out more and to see whether your insurance company have signed up to the scheme please visit http://www.floodre.co.uk.

Although a positve first step, we at OFA would like to see insurers work to reduce the total amount paid out due to flooding by:

  1. Contributing to local and national schemes that reduce the impact of flooding
  2. Advising and incentivising homeowners to protect their properties appropriately
  3. Working with local agencies to ensure adequate response is provided during and immediately after a flood event.