FLOODING: United front needed to push city's case for funding, says Oxford MP

The Oxford Times: Andrew Smith inspects the flood barrier by Hinksey Lake in South Oxford Andrew Smith inspects the flood barrier by Hinksey Lake in South Oxford

OXFORD East MP Andrew Smith has urged Oxfordshire’s politicians to pull together to tackle the issue of flooding.

He was in his constituency yesterday looking at some of the defences which have prevented homes from going under water.

Mr Smith said: “Oxford faces a dire situation, with all the heartache and worry for those at risk of flooding, and the widespread disruption and economic cost to the city and surrounding area.

“I am keeping closely in touch with the efforts to protect local people, and praise the front-line effort being put in by all the workers from the agencies and councils for the second time in just a few weeks.

“This morning I held a meeting with Amanda Nobbs, chairman of the Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, together with city council leader Bob Price and Rodney Rose, who leads on flooding for the county council, to discuss how we can effectively press the case for the Western Conveyance Channel.

“We will all be pulling together, across political parties and across councils to mobilise the city’s case. We are enlisting support of local businesses, universities and railway operators.

“We need urgently to secure commitment to this scheme, which is the only way of significantly reducing flood risk the city. Everyone can see the greater frequency of flooding in our area and its damage, and whilst it will take some years to get the channel in place, the sooner it starts, the better.”

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