Northmoor weir

15 January 2012

We’ve just signed a petition opposing the spending of £3 MILLION to replace a perfectly good weir at Northmoor Lock, near Appleton. The flood risk reduction capital budget for Oxford is £5000 for the next 5 years.
See the background and sign the petition here
We’ve said this:

“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. To that one might add: especially when it costs £3 million, the country is experiencing economic hard times and there are many things on which (almost!) everybody would agree the money could be better spent. We are not only thinking of flood defences for Oxford, although we sorely need more and there is at present nothing in the capital budget for 2012 onwards.

1. On the so-called health and safety issue:
We believe the technical case put forward re health and safety is deeply flawed. There are serious technical objections to its conclusions. There has never been an accident.
Even were the technical a case proven (which it is not) how much should be spent in such a case? £3 million isn’t too much – apparently. How about £10 million? £20 million? What does the law require? We don’t believe it’s that stupid.
2. There is no flood risk reduction for anyone (even the EA don’t claim that there is).
3. The present weir works well and is not at the end of its life.
4. It is a beautiful and important part of our river heritage.
It’s ironic that, despite the ‘Big Society’ agenda, when ‘ordinary’ people want to be listened to it still feels like banging your head against the proverbial brick wall. We think your idea of ‘working more closely with our MP’ is an excellent approach. And the PM’s constituency is of course not far away.
This should be winnable because of the facts and the logic of the case. Get the politicians involved, as you intend, and you should succeed.
Good luck in stopping this ill-conceived waste of public money. Let us know if we can help.