John Whitehouse

Retired County Councillor for Kenilworth Abbey Division Learn more

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Flooding

by John Whitehouse on 7 February, 2008

Road in flood

Although Warwickshire didn’t suffer as badly as our neighbours Gloucestershire in last Summer’s catastrophic floods, we had it pretty bad in parts of the county. Since then, a lot of effort has gone into analying what happened and why, what measures should be taken to prevent or mitigate flooding, and how the various agencies involved can work better together.

As part of this effort, the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee has been looking at the subject in depth, and yesterday I met with Severn Trent and county officers to understand in particular the issues around surface water and drainage.

Good news is that in Tuesday’s budget debate the County council voted for an extra £1 million spending over 2 years on highway drainage – the Liberal Democrats voted with the Conservatives to get this agreed in the face of Labour opposition. The additional funding is a big increase on current spending levels, and should both tackle the backlog of regular maintenance activities (gulley flushing etc) plus new measures to deal with known “hot spots” around the county.

It was also clear to me how much scope there is for better co-ordination of activities and communications between agencies. This was highlighted in the interim Pitt Report (commissioned by the government), and will be a major focus of the final report due this Summer.

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