Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury Councillors’ comment on failure to find funding for River Thames Flood Scheme

There are two sides to every coin and so after Cllr Cannon chose to make an announcement by posting on FB, it was only fair that Cllr Larcombe has a chance to offer his thoughts on what actually happened.

Councillor Cannon, RBWM Ward Councillor, Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury, Lead Member for Public Protection (inc flooding) announcement on Facebook 10th August 2020
“It is with great disappointment that I have to report that the River Thames Scheme Sponsoring Group has made the decision to proceed with the River Thames Scheme – without Channel 1 ( Datchet to Bells Weir) .
This is as a result of a failure of Government to enact legislation required, despite intensive lobbying by RBWM, myself and our MP Adam Afriyie.
The Council’s 2017 commitment was always conditional on Government passing legislation to allow RBWM to fund the £43 million.
RBWM, Adam and I will continue to lobby government for the mechanism to fund this channel, whilst simultaneously negotiating with the EA for localised flood alleviation schemes, and for our communities.”

cllr ewan larcombe Myrke Ditch

Cllr Ewan Larombe, RBWM Ward Councillor, Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury, stood next to the Myrke Ditch which has a designation of “Main River” and should be maintained as such by the Environmental Agency!

Cllr Larcombe response… he won his seat on the theme of Flood Prevention.

Minutes from the Infrastructure Overview & Scrutiny Panel Meeting 16th June

River Thames Scheme partnership funding / Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) Councillor Larcombe, the requester of the above items, introduced the River Thames Scheme, which was intended to be a partnership funding that had not been arranged. If this was not arranged, the new channel through Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury would not be built.

Councillor Larcombe addressed a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy from 2014 and his assertion was that the Borough failed to incorporate the strategy as part of its responsibilities as the lead local flood authority. He was unsure if the Flood Liaison Committee was an external or internal committee of the Borough.

Councillor Sharpe proposed to have this item scheduled for 2021 rather than November 2020 as there were many items scheduled for the latter date.

Councillor Larcombe said he was able to write a report and have a determination of actions by November 2020.

The Chairman asked for Ben Smith and Chris Joyce’s workload as the responsible officers, and the Panel were informed that there was a lot of business for November 2020 and therefore there may not be enough time to debate each item. Ben Smith proposed delaying the LLFA item for a later meeting to provide the item greater airtime, whilst River Thames Scheme could be covered in November 2020.

The Vice Chairman suggested that Councillor Larcombe liaise directly with Ben Smith to find alternative solutions regarding the matter, as the Borough was unable to afford £54,000,000.

Councillor Cannon, Lead Member Public Protection and Parking, said this was a large piece of work and other agencies would need to be questioned to create a balanced view about the issue. He proposed the meeting to take place in April 2021.

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That River Thames Scheme partnership funding / LLFA be considered by the Panel in future.

Video of this element of the panel meeting for your consideration…

Please contact Cllr Larcombe
Phone: 01753 544302
Email: cllr.larcombe@rbwm.gov.uk

Thank you.


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