03:00PM, Saturday 21 March 2015
Funding of more than £1.4m for a scheme to help protect people and infrastructure at risk of flooding is recommended to be approved by the Royal Borough’s decision-making cabinet.
The River Thames Scheme is a £302m initiative led by the Environment Agency and supported by Thames Water, Defra and Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (RFCC).
Other local authorities supporting the project include Elmbridge Borough Council, Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Runnymede Borough Council, Spelthorne Borough Council and Surrey County Council.
The recommendation at the meeting is the Royal Borough’s cabinet agrees to release £285,000 from its 2015/16 capital funds to put into the scheme and the same is included in the budget for the following four years.
Wraysbury parish councillor, Graham Sinclair, a former flood warden who helped tackle last year’s floods, said they should ‘get going’.
“If they are going to do it they should do it with the utmost urgency,” he said.
“They only need to see Wraysbury and the devastation to people’s homes and houses.”
He added people are still in temporary housing and if the scheme does not go ahead, maintenance work to dredge the Thames and repair its flood banks is needed.
The initiative is to provide flood protection for 15,000 homes and businesses, 2,300 of which are in the Royal Borough, as well as road, rail and utility infrastructure.
So far, the government has committed £220m towards the scheme, the Thames RFCC £29m and Surrey County Council £1.5m.
A further £52m is required, £4.3m of which is needed over the next five years.
The scheme includes plans to build a new flood channel made up of three sections.
It also includes plans to improve three of the existing weirs on the River Thames, to install flood defences for up to 1,200 homes and improved flood incident response plans.
It also proposes to create more than 40 hectares for biodiverse habitat and to work with communities to raise flood awareness and support them in flood preparations, response and recovery.
If the recommendations are adopted, work on parts of the scheme would be actioned this year.
Flood channels are scheduled to be put in place between 2020-2025.
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