Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Member of Parliament for The Cotswolds, organised and chaired five public flood meetings on Friday 18th October in South Cerney, Cirencester, Moreton-in-Marsh, Fairford and Lechlade and the Three Rivers Ward.
It was clear from the large attendance at all five meetings that there was significant concern, particularly about sewage flooding and Thames Waters willingness to invest, not only to improve the existing situation, but also to upgrade sewers to take new developments.
In South Cerney in particular there was widespread frustration that both Thames Water and the Environment Agency appeared to have done very little since the last public meeting seven months ago. There is a perception that Thames Water puts a huge amount of investment into London, but very little in The Cotswolds, which is on the extreme west of its area. In order to communicate these concerns directly a copy of the minutes of all five meetings will be sent to Martin Baggs, Chief Executive of Thames Water, and to OFWAT, the regulator.
Commenting after the meetings, Mr Clifton-Brown said "I understand that all of the agencies have difficulties with the extremes of climate that we have experienced in the last few years, but that is all the more reason why they need to put the investment into flood protection schemes and upgrade the sewage systems. Everyone could not have failed to have been moved by one or two stories that emerged from the Cirencester meeting and there has been good progress in some areas, for example Fairford, but the problem remains far too widespread and the agencies need to do much more. In view of the considerable frustration I will be organising a similar set of meetings, provisionally on Friday April 11th 2014."
Source: Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP Member of Parliament for The Cotswolds