11:46AM, Saturday 11 July 2015
An electricity network operator has given Datchet Parish Council £12,000 to boost its flood defence system.
The money, donated by Southern Electric Power Distribution (SEPD), will be used to build a ‘purpose-built chamber’ housing an emergency water pump at the Link Bridge, near Datchet Village Hall.
SEPD donated the money from its Resilient Communities Fund, which aims to provide funding to help communities combat extreme weather events.
Cllr Ian Thompson, flooding spokesman for Datchet Parish Council, applied for the funding in March with the aim of bolstering the village’s capability to pump out flood water.
During last year’s floods, pumps provided by the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) played a significant role in reducing damage to houses, businesses and electrical utilities in the village.
When volunteers drew up the new community flood plan, they decided a permanent water pumping facility should be a priority for the future.
Cllr Thompson said: “We were determined to build on our community spirit to formulate a plan to deal with any future floods.
“Making all the necessary arrangements and purchases for a permanent pumping facility was beyond our own limited budget and so we are really grateful for SEPD for this fantastic donation.
“Now if we get any more flooding in the village, we’ll be able to drain it very quickly.”
Stuart Hogarth, SEPD’s director of distribution, added: “It is great to see the time and effort that has gone into the Parish Council’s flood defence plan being rewarded with this funding.”
Datchet Parish Council is now hoping the Royal Borough will match SEPD’s donation to help make the new pumping chamber a reality.
Initial plans have been drawn up for the project and the council will now need to obtain planning permission before work can start.
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