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MP calls for Henley to get flood relief
Published 27/03/14

JOHN HOWELL has called on Oxfordshire County Council to ensure Henley is not overlooked when new flood relief measures are put in place.

The Henley MP spoke at a summit in Oxford on Friday that was called following the severe flooding in January and February.

The meeting was attended by MPs from across the county as well as representatives from the Environment Agency and First Great Western.

Mr Howell said the discussion centred on the Western Conveyance Channel, a proposed £125 million project to draw water away from Oxford.

He reminded the council that money was still needed to fix the B478 at Sonning Eye after it was damaged by floodwater. The road is still partially closed and the council has applied for a £950,000 grant from the Government to pay for the work.

This is in addition to the £4.8 million the authority has been given for road repairs around the county.

Mr Howell said: “Listening to the presentations being put forward you would have thought that central Oxford was the only place to flood.

“The flooding was particularly bad there but it must not be forgotten that Playhatch Road also flooded badly.

“This is an area the county council has pledged to fix and for which it has applied for [the money]. I am supporting this bid and have had conversations with No 10 about it this week.

“I generally support the Western Conveyance Channel. However, I made the point that it would be quite wrong for Oxford’s problem to be solved at the expense of pushing the flooding further south. I was glad to get reassurances that this issue would be continually modelled as the project proceeded.”

Henley’s county councillor David Nimmo Smith, who also attended the meeting, said: “John Howell and I reminded everyone that Oxford was not the only part of the county with flooding problems.”

He said the B478 would not be raised for the time being as this would require permission from the Environment Agency due the possible knock-on effects.

Published 27/03/14

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