Tackle climate or floods a risk for 10,000 Oxford homes, warns Friends of the Earth (From Herald Series)
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Tackle climate or floods a risk for 10,000 Oxford homes, warns Friends of the Earth
ABOUT one in eight homes in Oxford and Abingdon could be at risk of flooding if the Government does not address the issue of climate change, it has been claimed.
According to data from the Environment Agency (EA) there are 10,243 homes at flood risk in Oxford.
This includes 4,390 homes deemed at significant risk, where the chance of flooding is more than once in 75 years.
And there are concerns that more of the homes deemed a low or moderate risk could be flooded more regularly.
Friends of the Earth South East regional campaigner Brenda Pollack said: “Flooding is devastating for anyone who is affected by it and as a country we must do much more to prepare for the impacts of climate change.
“Without proper investment in flood defences, hundreds of thousands more homes could be put at risk of flooding.”
Weirs Lane resident Jamie Clarke, 38, said: “I live just off the Abingdon Road so we and our community have experienced the sixth major flood in six years and these are supposed to happen once every 100 years.
“The local community agrees things are getting more frequent and worse, and climate change is an important factor”
Ms Pollack said the organisation had called on MPs Nicola Blackwood and Andrew Smith to support its call for investment in flood defences to be in line with the risk of climate change.
In Ms Blackwood’s constituency of Oxford West and Abingdon 5,472 homes are at flood risk, the EA figures show, while in Mr Smith’s constituency of Oxford East there are 4,771. Of these 2,808 and 2,841 respectively are at significant flood risk.
According to the Office of National Statistics, there are 44,858 households in Oxford East while in Oxford West and Abingdon there are 44,580.
This means just over 10 per cent of homes in Oxford East are at flood risk, while for Oxford West and Abingdon the figure is 12 per cent.
Mr Smith said: “The floods have shown the urgent need for more effective flood defences, like the Western Conveyance Channel for Oxford, and for action to combat climate change.”
The Western Conveyance is a £123m flood relief channel which would run from Botley to Sandford Lock, allowing water to bypass Oxford rather than flow through it.
Ms Blackwood said: “In Oxford West and Abingdon this winter’s flooding has yet again led to commuter chaos, property flooding and even loss of life. This is not only deeply distressing for local residents but also deeply damaging for our local economy.”
An EA spokesman said: “We are currently looking into the funding options for the Oxford Flood Risk Management Strategy, which includes the Western Conveyance Channel.”
- Residents who no longer need sandbags have been asked to return them to community bunkers where they will be reused.
West Oxfordshire District Council has made space in a number of car parks, including next to the village hall in Shipton Road, Ascott-under-Wychwood, Tanners Lane, Burford, and the car park at Charlbury Bowls Club, in Ticknell Piece Road, Charlbury.
Sandbags should be stacked to the side of the bunkers. Residents are asked not to put them in the bunkers with the loose sand.
Sandbags can also be returned to the council depot off Station Lane, Witney.
Call 01993 861025 in advance.
The council has asked that unused sandbags are returned by Monday, March 31. However, this date will be extended if necessary.
If residents wish to keep sandbags they can do so.
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