Council urged not to use public money on Wraysbury Drain landowners
27th April BY JAMES BAGLEY – LOCAL DEMOCRACY REPORTER
A clogged part of the Wraysbury Drain by Feathers Lane, Wraysbury. (Picture by Ewan Larcombe – taken on Jan 9, 2022)
A COUNCILLOR has demanded the authority does not use public money on landowners near the Wraysbury Drain who “deliberately block” the watercourse.
For almost three years, parts of the ancient 2.5 miles long Wraysbury Drain have been blocked by debris, tree roots and gravel, disrupting the flow of the water and land drainage. The drain, which is about 200 years old, runs from near Wraysbury train station to Hythe End, where it joins with the Thames.
Parts of the watercourse fall under private landowner boundaries, meaning they are the ones responsible for repairing and maintaining their part of the drain.
Ben Crampin, the council’s new flood risk manager, told councillors sitting on the flood liaison that some works on the drain around the dive centre have been completed leading to ‘some water’ flowing through the drain but blockages could still be at other parts.
Mr Crampin, who started his role last month, also said he is “reviewing” the legal position on where the council’s and landowner’s responsibilities lie before they start taking enforcement action on landowners on Feathers Lane and other locations where the blockages are occurring.
Speaking at the meeting on Thursday, April 21, Independent councillor Ewan Larcombe (Datchet, Horton & Wraysbury) said: “I want assurance that public money will not be used to rectify ordinary watercourses that have been either deliberately blocked or where the landowner has deliberately made it difficult for people to get in or received enhancements in respect of the work that have been done.”
Mr Crampin assured Cllr Larcombe that he worked as a project lead for investigations and enforcement at Surrey County Council. “I have plenty of experience in that process,” he said.