03:00PM, Saturday 30 September 2017
A ‘must have’ flood prevention scheme has been given full support by councillors to avoid a repeat of the 2014 floods.
Unanimous support was given to the £476m River Thames Scheme which will give flood protection to 15,000 homes between Datchet and Teddington in South-west London.
Councillors voted to invest £10m over four years from 2020/21 into the Environment Agency’s scheme, and introduce a council tax flood levy of £7.39 per household, subject to national legislation.
Leader of the council Cllr Simon Dudley (Con, Riverside) said: “It is absolutely essential we do this for our residents and make every effort.
“This is not a nice thing to have, this is a must have or we will be out there in our communities again with our residents, whose houses are flooded and forced out of their homes in Datchet, Old Windsor and Wraysbury.”
The scheme currently has a shortfall of £248m and Cllr Dudley could not confirm how much other local authorities would commit.
He added: “I can’t speak for other local authorities clearly, but I hope in interest of partnership they would step up, Surrey County Council and some boroughs, but each one needs to go through their own process.”
Cllr Philip Bicknell (Con, Park) said: “This flooding is diabolical, it’s really bad and our fireman came out, they came out in force and it’s worth remembering up to 30 fire authorities came down, we had a national high volume pumps - pipes and pumps going everywhere.
“The fire brigade came out and did their job, but we need to support this paper because prevention is much better.”
Cllr Malcolm Beer (Ind, Old Windsor) said he supported the scheme but was concerned the flood forum had not seen the report.
He said: “My big concern is that flood forum is meeting next week, it should have been moved forward so the flood people who know about floods could contribute to the debate.”
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