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'For and against' the LTFRMS
I do wonder whether these people really know what they are doing?
(Lower Thames Flood Risk Management Strategy)
My view is that in order to properly understand the Environment Agency LTFRMS proposal it is preferable to be aware of the history and consequences of the MWEFAS project (renamed Jubilee River in 2002) so here are a few pointers to consider.
Why should we object to the consultation process itself?
Insufficient time for consultation (should be three months minimum!!)
Insufficient breadth and depth of consultation. (The consultation actually asks 'Are there any groups or organisations that we should be talking to?)
Lack of public debate
No RBWM Council Meetings during consultation period.
Why should we support the scheme?
The completed project may reduce the probability of flooding in Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury.
The completed project may reduce the probability of flooding further downstream.
This in turn may lead to reduced insurance costs.
Significant objections will give the EA an excuse to do nothing.
Why should we object to the scheme?
The previous scheme (MWEFAS/Jubilee River) does not meet the design specification.
Jubilee River sustained damage at only 2/3rds of capacity.
£110m to build, £5m in repair costs.
MWEFAS Operational procedure incomplete
FRAG and Thames Flood Forum recommendations still not implemented.
The River Thames has not been dredged for flood defence purposes for over ten years.
Local groundwater levels are unmonitored and out of control.
Implementation of this scheme may increase the probability of flooding locally and downstream.
The nature of the local water bodies and landscape will be significantly affected.
The EA are happy to sell off lock-houses and also raise compulsory purchase orders.
Local watercourses may be permanently affected.
Problems with car parking, caravans, fly-tipping, vandalism and graffiti.
Other unforeseen and unintended consequences......... e.g algae, bird strike
What happens if we do nothing?
Your choice, but please do not complain later. My conscience is clear!
Why do we need a Public Inquiry?
Because this is the last thing the Environment Agency will want.
The Environment Agency are demonstrably incapable of learning from their mistakes.
Experience has shown that after the MWEFAS Public Inquiry in 1992, the EA changed the Jubilee River design in order to cut costs.
After planning permission is given it should not be possible to change design without further approval.
A Public Inquiry will properly consider all aspects of these proposals from all interested parties.
A Public inquiry will record the evidence from all parties 'in perpetuity.'
A Public Inquiry will thoroughly scrutinise all the the evidence.
The Environment Agency will be unable to avoid the truth about lack of Thames dredging and sub-standard Jubilee River design, construction, operation, performance and maintenance.
What else can we do?
Demand that the EA be given the DUTY to maintain main rivers for flood defence purposes in the same way that the EA has a DUTY to maintain the Thames for navigational purposes.
Ensure that the EA and your lead local flood authority comply with the Flood Risk Regulations 2009
What do I think about LTFRMS?
The Jubilee River is unfinished, and incapable of carrying its design capacity.
The Jubilee River is unable to contain floodwater at higher flow rates.
The Jubilee River design was changed after planning approval.
The rebuilt Myrke embankment (£1.3m) in Datchet is degrading fast (and may be unstable?)
MWEFAS Operating Procedures still awaited.
The EA has refused to talk to me (about the Jubilee River problems) for years.
The River Thames has not been dredged for flood defence purposes since 1996.
Probability of local flooding may increase if Channel 1 is built.
What about the gap between Channels 1 & 2?
Local watercourses may be lost forever
I feel unable to support a new scheme when existing defences are abandoned.
I am not confident that the EA demonstrate honesty or an ability to learn!
Link to main LTFRMS page
Below are the links to two short films from January 2007
Short film - Jan 2007- Thames dredging (23mB wmv)
Short film - Jan 2007 - Jubilee River fiasco (50mB wmv)
For JR Guided Tour enquiries, or if you would like me to give a presentation or after dinner speech to your club or society (or you need help with a school or college project) please contact me.