GREEN campaigners in Oxford have called for a clearer flooding strategy that gives more priority to prevention.

Councillor David Williams, representing Iffley Fields and St Mary’s for the Green Party on Oxford City Council, said existing strategies need to be reexamined.

The party has contributed to two reports – one by the city council and one by the Environment Agency.

Green planning spokesman Cllr Elise Benjamin said: “Council staff have worked hard during the recent flooding to keep residents safe.

“But there are significant failings which are exacerbating the problem.

“The city needs to stop approving developments on and near the flood plain and insist on better urban drainage in new developments.

“There also needs to be more inter-agency working which the city could be more proactive in leading."

The group also suggests that “too little weight has been placed in the past on processes that could hold water rather than discharging it rapidly.”

Cllr Williams said: “Defence is not enough.

“The focus must be upstream or Oxford will be doomed to this recurring nightmare.”

He said it was time to accept what we had done so far hadn’t worked.

He added: “There have been three major floods in the last 10 years and we have got to come to terms with what has happened.”