Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West last week held a meeting for residents of properties in Kingsley Close in Whitley to provide them with an update on work that has been done to prevent future flooding. The completion of works marks success for residents following a campaign spearheaded by Alok to improve the ability of a drainage ditch to cope with excess surface water.
Representatives from Reading Borough Council, Thames Water and the Environment Agency were present at the meeting to provide information to residents on work which began in February to improve surface water drainage.
Residents heard from Reading Borough Council that work had been done to clear the drainage ditch alongside the A33 on the former Courage Brewery site and were shown before and after photographs to demonstrate the improved situation. Residents cautiously welcomed the improvements but were keen to ensure that the ditch was not allowed to revert back to its previous state.
Having experienced severe flooding in both July 2007 and August 2011, Kingsley Close residents contacted Alok in August 2011 to express their concerns that not enough was being done to prevent further instances of flooding in the future. Alok then took up their case vigorously with the Council, Thames Water and the Environment Agency. It is now hoped that the re-profiling works undertaken at the ditch will be enough to stop it overflowing in the event of heavy rainfall and causing further flooding.
Alok said: “To reassure residents, Reading Borough Council has confirmed that it will undertake a regular maintenance programme to ensure that the ditch does not get blocked up again. I understand that surveyors from Peter Brett Associates have also been commissioned by the Council to look to see if additional work can be undertaken downstream to improve the situation further.”
Alok continued: “I am pleased that residents have now had their concerns acted upon and I will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that the Council keeps to its pledge of a regular maintenance programme.”
Julia Horne, Kingsley Close resident, said: “We are grateful that the Council has committed to undertake a regular maintenance programme as we do not want the ditch to get blocked up again. There was some anxiety among residents during April when other areas of Reading did experience flooding, but so far so good, the work carried out seems to have done the job.”