The second presentation at this week’s Council External Partnerships Select Committee meeting was from the Environment Agency. Their presentation, from Ian Tomes, Flood and Coastal Risk Manager – West Thames, was on Flood Risk Management.
Ian Tomes said part of the Environment Agency’s responsibilities were the strategic overview of all forms of flood risk, development of a national strategy, and fluvial flood risk management from main rivers.
Reader’ will know of my keen interest in flood alleviation. I’ve been writing about it here for years, clicking on Flooding in categories to see all the previous posts.
Ian Tomes is responsible for flood risk in the West Thames area, a large area, as can be seen in this report on Groundwater Situation at May 2014. It’s pleasing that the Environment Agency’s [EA] management attend Scrutiny committee meetings, and I was especially pleased at his detailed knowledge of past flooding events in Lightwater and Surrey Heath, especially the Lightwater thunderstorm flood of 2006.
I enjoyed pressing Ian on access to historical flood data held by the Agency, and am also pleased at the EA’s financial support for flood assessment work in Surrey Heath. Ian attends the regular meetings of Surrey County Council National Flood Forum, at which Surrey Heath is also represented. Ian reported that that approved schemes to reduce fold risk in Surrey for 2014/15 amounted to £8, 516,000, of which two schemes are in Surrey Heath:
- Bagshot initial assessment, £5k EA funded, in association with Surrey Heath’s £20k funded Chobham Flood alleviation Scheme.
- Windlesham initial assessment, £35K EA funded, in association with Surrey Heath’s £70k Lightwater Flood Relief scheme – Ambleside Road & Rydal Place.
The EA’s Flood Risk Maps for Surrey Heath can be seen HERE. Click on the Go to Flood Map for Planning at the top of the page, enter your Post Code, then select from Other topics for this area. It’s really very informative.
In addition to the two Initial Assessment Schemes, the EA is working with Surrey Heath Borough council on FDGiA schemes, and Chobham Community Flood Action Group. Ian Tomes recommendation to communities at risk of flooding was to establish a Community Flood Awareness Forum or Group, which would look after the interests of the frail and vulnerable in the community.