On 25th April the English Severn and Wye Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (RFCC) held its regular meeting – this time in Much Wenlock. I was pleased to be able to welcome the committee members to our splendid Guildhall and our visitors pronounced that they were impressed with their surroundings – “grand setting”, “most picturesque meeting venue” etc.
The RFCC brings together members appointed by Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs) and independent members with relevant experience to:
- Ensure there are coherent plans for identifying, communicating and managing flood and coastal erosion risks across catchments and shorelines;
- Promote efficient, targeted and risk-based investment in flood and coastal erosion risk management that optimises value for money and benefits for local communities;
- Provide a link between the Environment Agency, LLFAs, other risk management authorities and other relevant bodies to engender mutual understanding of flood and coastal erosion risks in its area.
Once the formal meeting was over, the visitors were given a short presentation about Much Wenlock‘s flood history and the measures currently underway to alleviate surface water flooding. It seems a long time since I was chairing the Town Council’s Flood Management Working Group when we managed to get Shropshire Council, the Environment Agency, Severn Trent Water and our Member of Parliament, Philip Dunne, around a table – in the very same Guildhall. That was in 2010 and an Integrated Urban Drainage Management Plan was subsequently created. The delegates then left the historic splendour of the Guildhall and donned hard hats and hi-vis jackets at Stretton Road to view the construction.
The scale of the works is impressive and the pre-cast outfall headwall to the inlet channel has been installed. The base slab for the main outfall structure has been poured in concrete, and works on constructing the walls is now ongoing.
The wheel wash is keeping the local roads as clean as possible, given the nature of the task and safe management of the site is clearly of paramount importance.
Meanwhile at The Sytche, similar works are taking place, albeit on a smaller scale.
I hope that, as the works reach their conclusion, the Environment Agency and Shropshire Council will feel able to have a residents’ open day to explain how this £2m scheme will go a long way towards alleviating surface and pluvial flooding in Much Wenlock.