Below is an extract from a Press Release dated 23/10/2023
In October 2019 Surrey County Council’s Cabinet agreed £270 million of funding for long term flood risk management work across Surrey to protect homes and roads. That included a contribution to the River Thames Scheme, which aimed to reduce flood risk to 15,000 properties and tens of thousands of people living and working near the Thames. The Environment Agency and the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead also agreed contributions towards the scheme.
Since then the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead withdrew from the project claiming that the required partnership funding contribution was ‘unaffordable’. Consequently Channel One of the River Thames Scheme was withdrawn from the project in July 2020.
Having suffered flooding three times in the last 20 years RBWM Councillor Ewan Larcombe (Datchet, Horton & Wraysbury Ward) is very concerned that the improved protection offered by the new channel has now been removed, leaving his area at ever-increasing risk of flooding from the River Thames. Moreover in his opinion, the use of the Jubilee River to protect Windsor, Eton and Maidenhead simply aggravates flooding in and around the undefended villages downstream both towards and beyond Staines.
Councillor Larcombe stated “RBWM has inherited significant capital debt from the previous administration and is in financial difficulty. It appears that the RTS project administered by the Environment Agency has consumed over £70m to date. An additional £20m has been requested for the 2024/5 financial year for a project that has yet to receive planning permission. I am concerned because the RTS project is now reduced in size due to the removal of Channel One but the expenditure and the timescales are steadily increasing. In my opinion – after many years and previous assurances that have not been kept – combined with lethargic development – this project not only lacks coherence but also exhibits similarities with HS2.”