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The Jubilee River story (0948z34)
Notes on JR and Worsfold Review for RBWM Flood Meeting 3/12/2018
1) The Jubilee River (previously MWEFAS) was constructed to reduce the risk of flooding in Maidenhead, Windsor and Eton.
2) Hydraulic model deficiencies first identified at Planning Inquiry 1992.
3) On first operation in 2003 Maidenhead was protected but Datchet and undefended villages downstream flooded. First flooding since 1947.
4) The JR suffered serious structural damage and 350m of Datchet embankment had to be demolished and rebuilt (£1.3m)
5) The JR is still unable to carry its design capacity.
6) Recommendations from the 2004 Onion’s Inquiry were not implemented.
7) The EA sued the designers and won an out-of-court settlement.
8) Datchet and villages downstream nearly flooded in Summer 2007.
9) Pitt Review recommendations have not been implemented.
10) 2009 – LTFRMS Consultation http://www.jubileeriver.co.uk/lts%20-%20090921%20-%20423951_LT_CP_V10_FINAL.pdf
11) FWMA 2010.
12) Datchet and villages downstream flooded twice in 2014.
13) Worsfold Review – suppressed and recommendations have not been implemented. https://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/environmental-audit/correspondence/flood-coastal-risk-management-maintenance-review.pdf
14) July 2015 – RTS £300m total but £50m short (BBC report).
15) Dec 2018 - Datchet and villages downstream – probability of flooding is increasing, no improved protection and almost no land drainage infrastructure maintenance.
16) RTS – lack of partnership funding – £588m total but > £200m short.
17) Worsfold Review recognised issues but has not been implemented.
18) Problem is with the partnership funding policy.
19) No honesty, openness, transparency and no ‘plan B’
Parliament - June 2016 - Flooding: Cooperation across Government
41. The Worsfold review demonstrated a relationship between maintenance spending and the condition of critical assets which protect people and property from flooding. As maintenance spending has fallen so to have the number of critical assets which meet the Environment Agency’s required condition. Any decline in the condition of critical assets represents a real world and unacceptable risk to local communities at risk of flooding. Given the increasing risk from climate change we urge the Government to see the 97% target as a minimum and to have the ambition of 99% of critical assets meeting the Environment Agency’s required condition by 2019. The Foss Barrier in York provides a cautionary example of what could happen in other parts of the country when ageing defences fail. We note the Government’s commitment to sustain maintenance spending over this Parliament. However, it is worth noting that, since there are more new flood defence assets being built, maintenance spend needs to increase simply in order to stand still.
55. The Government has made good progress in raising partnership funds to support overall funding for flood protection. However, 85% of this funding is still expected to come from the public sector, which is subject to significant resource constraints, and only 15% from the private sector. Partnership funding represents a risky approach to funding flood protection. It increases uncertainty for local communities about whether they will be protected from future floods. If the Government or the Environment Agency fails to attract additional funds, important flood protection schemes will not get the go-ahead. The Government must set out how it intends to support these flood protection schemes if additional partnership funding cannot be raised.
61. We recognise that Defra needs to prioritise flooding as an issue that impacts on lives and livelihoods. However, it should be transparent about where it has had to make cuts to accommodate this. We also ask the Government to set out, in the response to this Report, the evidence-base justifying its decision to protect flooding at the expense of other parts of the Department, in order to demonstrate that this decision was grounded in evidence and not just “political calculation”.