But where is the cash?

Left & right: Jubilee River last week

As flood levels receded in many places this week attention was focussed again on the future of the £250 million River Thames scheme - the flood alleviation scheme for the river between Datchet and Teddington.

The Environment Agency said it could be built within nine years once the money was in place and necessary planning consents obtained. But funding is the big stumbling block.

See more details of the scheme here.

The existing Jubilee River, opened ten years ago at a cost of £100 million, diverts flood water away from Maidenhead, Windsor and Eton. Residents downstream in Datchet, Wraysbury and Chertsey say they suffer as a consequence with larger volumes of water being deposited faster into their stetches of the Thames

The EA have always denied this saying that three inquiries have found that not to be the case.

The main problem for the Lower Thames scheme is financing the project. The EA bluntly admits it cannot find the money and construction would depend on half the cost being found from local authorites and, possibly, the private sector.

But the first local authority to react, Windsor and Maidenhead, said it would not be able fund the scheme.

Council leader David Burbage told BBC Radio Berkshire: "Defra and the Environment Agency are the flood prevention authorities. They cannot expect local tax payers to pay for a scheme of this size."

Meanwhile Windsor MP Adam Afriyie, who lives by the Thames and whose constituency includes much of the flood-hit riverside area, is due to meet EA officials to discuss the situation.

Story dated Feb 19th 2014


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