Sharma presses Environment Agency for quick delivery of Purley Flood Alleviation Scheme

Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West, on Friday 17th January 2014, met with representatives from The Environment Agency, West Berkshire Council, Purley Parish Council and the Mapledurham Estate to agree a way forward for delivering a flood alleviation scheme in Purley.

Alok held an initial meeting on Friday 10th January with the same parties to help accelerate progress on the flood alleviation scheme, and it has now been confirmed by the Environment Agency that work will begin on a bund to the north of Wintringham Way, as soon as the ground conditions allow. The Environment Agency plans to have the work completed in March this year.

Alok is now organising an information meeting, for local residents on Thursday 27th February 2014, at which the Environment Agency will present details of the flood alleviation scheme and the protection it will offer. The meeting will be held at Purley Barn at 7pm. To assist with planning, those interested in attending should email alok.sharma.mp@parliament.uk or call 0118 9413 803.

A number of Purley residents in Wintringham Way, River Gardens and Chestnut Grove have faced flooding in recent weeks due to the River Thames rising.

Alok Sharma said: “Having visited residents who have faced flooding over Christmas and more recently, I know how important it is that we get flood alleviation measures in place, which were discussed by the Environment Agency in March last year at the public meeting I held in Purley.”

Alok continued: “There are lessons to be learnt by the Environment Agency about the slow pace of delivering the bund at the back of Wintringham Way. The Agency clearly dropped the ball and I absolutely get the frustration of affected residents. However, I am pleased that we have now agreed a schedule for works to take place and I will be continuing to press the Environment Agency for quick delivery of this scheme.”

Purley Parish Council Vice Chair Bernard Nix said: “After nine months of frustration and irritation at the succession of delays to this project, the residents of Purley welcome the firming up of the plans to deliver this important protection for our village. There are still details of the work to be clarified, but we are hopeful that the solution and planned timescales will give us on-going protection, from 1 in 4-5 year type flood events.”

West Berkshire lead councillor for Emergency Planning, Pamela Bale said: “I am pleased that the Environment Agency has now agreed the specification of this scheme, and a timetable for constructing the bund and I would like to thank Alok Sharma for his commitment which has ensured the delivery of this project.”

Photos: Alok Sharma with Tim Metcalfe, District Councillor for Purley and Bernard Nix, Vice Chairman of Purley Parish Council visit Purley residents during recent flooding

Alok Sharma discusses the flood alleviation scheme plans with District Councillor Pamela Bale; Bernard Nix, Vice Chairman of Purley Parish Council; Martin Bryan from the Environment Agency and Jon Winstanley from West Berkshire Council