Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Slad brook campaign update

SNJ story today copied below - Ruscombe Brook Action Group have fully supported the Slad group - indeed helped them a little when they set up - and through the Stroud Valleys Water Forum have tried to get action - the EA's failure to act seriously on all this does seem extraordinary. The floods were in 2007 and 4 years on we still don't have any real actions.

Campaigners 'disappointed and disillusioned' with flood plan's slow progress

CAMPAIGNERS have accused the Environment Agency of making slow progress over plans to address flood risk levels in Stroud. Members of Slad Brook Action Group said they are ‘disappointed and disillusioned’ with the latest findings of the EA’s report into the issue, which has been in the making since the mass floods of 2007.

"I am disappointed that after four years we have not made much progress and people are still at risk of flooding," said group chairman and Green Gloucestershire county councillor Sarah Lunnon. It is a tricky nut to crack but we have to address the problem and find a solution."

She added that the agency’s recommendations seem only to maintain current risk levels, rather than actually improving them.

Secretary Sandy Coulborn, who became involved with the group after friends of hers were affected by the 2007 floods, added: "We are bitterly disappointed and disillusioned. It is not satisfactory and does not reduce the flood risk one bit. The threat of people’s homes being flooded is still immense and that means what happened in 2007 could happen all over again."

The EA’s remit has been to investigate feasible flood alleviation works in the River Frome catchment area, which includes Slad Brook and Painswick Stream.

The knock-on effect of added run-off flowing into Slad Brook is the increased risk of floods further downstream, particularly in Bridgend, near Stonehouse, where a second action group – Bridgend Residents Against River Frome Flooding (BARFF) – has been active since 2008.

A spokesman for the EA said the fact that Slad Brook flows through a narrow, steep-sided valley, coupled with a lack of natural flood plain meant there was no single solution to dealing with the issue.

Instead, it recommends encompassing a range of measures over a longer time scale, including maintenance of watercourses, which in Stroud have been heavily modified over the years, thus increasing flood risks.

Another measure the EA is taking is to offer surveys and flood protection grants to safeguard properties from up to 900mm of flood water.

Cllr Lunnon said she was determined to keep raising the issue with colleagues in Shire Hall and the EA to find a solution. She added that she also plans to work more closely with Stroud town councillors to garner their expertise.

Dave Graham from GCC said the authority was working closely with the EA, Stroud District Council and water management organisation Water 21 to find the best possible solution for properties at risk.

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