Flooding forum to focus on how to end annual distress

Earl Street resident Nick Hills

Earl Street resident Nick Hills

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

RESIDENTS in West and South Oxford will have a chance to question a number of organisations on flooding next week.

Oxford City Council has organised an area forum on the issue and invited bodies such as the Environment Agency, Thames Water and Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The council said the meeting on Wednesday will give people a chance to ask questions on flood prevention and the response to flooding.

City councillor Susanna Pressel, who represents West Oxford and Jericho, said: “People in the Botley Road area have sadly become experts on flooding in recent years, but every flood is different and new questions keep coming up. People also have their own ideas about how floods can be prevented.”

Botley Road and Abingdon Road were closed during the flooding in January, sparking renewed calls for the construction of the £123m Western Conveyance scheme.

The flood relief channel would take water around Oxford to the west, preventing the flooding of both roads.

Earl Street resident Nick Hills, who is a member of Oxford Flood Alliance’s steering group, said: “In the long term the Western Conveyance will have the biggest impact on flooding in the area.

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“But clearly it is not going to be in place for a number of years, even if work started tomorrow, so we need to be looking after ourselves.

“Earl Street was saved in the most recent flooding by the hump at the top of the road that the city council put in place, but there are still issues with water coming through from the back garden.

“Foul water flooding is going to be a bigger and bigger problem.”

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