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Flood of praise for village residents
A GROUP of Kennington residents have been recognised for giving up their land to allow a £1m flood defence scheme to go ahead.
John Mastroddi is among those given an award by the Oxford Flood Partnership after surrendering the end of his garden for the Thames Water scheme for Hinksey stream.
The land was needed to enable the watercourse to be widened to build new flood walls and a 900-metre surface water sewer.
A drainage pond has also been cleared to allow flood water to run into it.
Five of his neighbours in Kennington Road who also gave up some of their land along the stream also had their efforts recognised at a meeting on Thursday.
They were Geoff and Jean Dighton, Rita Patinson and Ted and Sheila Ferriman.
Mr Mastroddi, 64, said: “It’s nice that authorities recognise the sacrifice that some of the residents have made so that the project could be completed.
“A lot of people in the village weren’t really aware of all the work that was going on, down on the watercourse.
“Three of the properties including mine gave up some land to be able to accommodate the wider watercourse. The other two properties have actually experienced flooding on their land.
“We didn’t personally as our property is a bit higher up.”
Workmen from Thames Water spent six months working on the scheme at Munday’s Bridge to carry surface water from the area down to Hinksey Stream.
Before the work was carried out, water backed up when it reached the bridge as it flowed away from Oxford and caused flooding further upstream in the city.
It is hoped the scheme will stop homes flooding in Kennington and South Hinksey, and as far upstream as Osney and Binsey.
As a member of the Oxford Flood Alliance, Mr Mastroddi was one of several activists lobbying the Environment Agency and Thames Water over the are’s flood risk.
He has been praised by alliance chairman Peter Rawcliffe, who said: “John was advocating this sort of scheme long before the alliance was formed.
“It’s obviously a great thing for him because what he said all along has now come to be.
“It’s very well-deserved indeed. When I heard about it I was absolutely delighted for him.
“He’s a very modest chap and would probably never have thought he would get an award.”
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