Winchester MP Steve Brine brought together local councillors and officials from various agencies today (Wednesday 5th March 2014) to discuss the recent flooding and how it affected the village of Twyford.
Senior officers from county and city councils joined representatives from Southern Water and the Environment Agency – as well as key parish councillors - to discuss how the village responded to February's floods and to understand what possible improvements can be made to local infrastructure in the future.
Frances Martin from Hampshire County Council's Environment Team outlined the work being undertaken at the present time to identify bids for the funding of future flood defence projects which must be submitted in outline form to the Environment Agency by 12th March. The date, which sees the culmination of many months work, had been fixed for 3rd March but Steve Brine secured an extension after raising the issue in Parliament last week.
Speaking after the meeting Steve said; "We heard how the Parish Emergency Plan had been a real success last month and I was keen again to pay tribute to parish council members who managed the situation on the ground in a way that undoubtedly saved a number of homes from actually being flooded. Given the experience in some others parts of my constituency it was so obvious where an effective plan was put in place, and one person was the key contact for overall control in Winchester, the difference that it made on ground."
A great deal of discussion was held with Southern Water around culvert capacity near the river and problems at the Seagers Lane Pumping Station. The company have agreed to make numerous investigations once ground-water levels recede to investigate and report back to the Parish Council. After the meeting, Parish Councillors spent time with Southern Water officials in the village showing them the issues faced in the surgery car park and around the Gilbert Room.
The session also touched on the Twyford Playgroup which was of course turned out of its permanent home at the village hall as a result of the floods. Steve Brine moved quickly to assist the group in getting a temporary certificate in place via Ofsted to allow it to re-open shortly after half-term at Hunters Park.
It was agreed that although everything that could be done to lessen the impact of future ground-water flooding would be considered, there was a real need to manage expectations around the extent to which unprecedented weather events can be handled.
Twyford Parish Council are currently keen to hear from villagers affected by the recent flooding and hope to hear from residents at their next parish council meeting in April.
The MP recently paid tribute to several members of the Twyford flood response team during a speech about flooding in the House of Commons.
More information ...
Visit Steve Brine's dedicated flooding pages
Attending the meeting were; Steve Brine MP, Andy Hickman (WCC); Mike O'Neill (Operations Manager, Solent & South Downs Area, EA); Cllr Waine Lawton (TPC); Cllr Rob Humby (HCC); Cllr Angela Forder-Stent (TPC); Cllr Sonia Watson (TPC); Cllr Chris Corcoran (TPC); Frances Martin (Assistant Director of Waste, Planning and Environment, HCC); Stephen Dart (County Sewerage Engineer, Southern Water); Mike James (Southern Water) and local resident Andy Roberts who also works for the EA.
Steve Brine is active right across his Winchester & Chandler's Ford constituency. You can now see news specific to where you live via our community pages.