A Thames-side council is urging the government to pay for the lower Thames flood relief scheme.

The River Thames Scheme would consist of a series of flood channels and prevention measures between Datchet and Teddington - protecting many of the areas worst hit by the recent floods.

In the past the Environment Agency has said it can pay for half the £260 million cost but local authorities along the river and commercial 'partners' would have to find the rest of the cash.

Windsor and Maidenhead Council's Cabinet has passed a motion urging the government to foot the bill. The borough includes Warysbury and Datchet and the Tory-controlled council is known to be on close terms with the Conservative hierarchy.

A motion going before the council's Cabinet on Thursday (May 29) said "This council believes that a scheme of such national significance should be fully funded by central government."

During the Cabinet discussionnthere was a diference of opinion among councillors whether or not the Jubilee River flood relief channel beyween Maidenhead and Eton had contributed to problems downstream.

Meanwhile upstream there are plans for Oxford's £125 million Western Conveyance Flood Relief Channel to mitigate the effect of flooding on the city and surrounding area. It would run from the city's Botley Road to Sandford Lock and in places would be as wide as the Thames.

But fears have now been expressed in local newspapers that the scheme could put downstream communities like Abingdon at increased risk.

Story updated June 1st 2014

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