OXFORD Flood Alliance said yesterday it was disappointed that a week of consultations on the £120m Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme had been gagged by General Election purdah rules.

The Environment Agency booked the four drop-in exhibitions of its final plans for the scheme, totalling 24 hours, in February.

However after Theresa May announced her snap election on June 8, the EA decided that election campaigning rules meant its officers, as government-paid officials, could not have conversations with members of public least they influence the vote.

Speaking at the final drop-in event at St Luke’s Church off Abingdon Road yesterday, flood alliance chairman Peter Rawcliffe said: “It obviously is a shame, and it seems weird to me, but all the information has been here and it’s not to say they haven’t been listening.”

Mr Rawcliffe also said he did not think there was anything controversial in the final designs being exhibited for the 5km-long flood alleviation channel between Botley Road and Sandford on Thames.

The Environment Agency will now hold its consultation on the final scheme design from June 22 to July 20 with three drop-in sessions at city libraries.

An officer also said yesterday that if anyone had made comments or left feedback during the past week’s events they would be ‘looked at’.