I am pleased to report that hundreds of properties in West Oxfordshire have been saved from flooding thanks to a programme of measures across our constituency.
I am sure you will remember the 2007 floods, which flooded over 1700 homes and businesses in West Oxfordshire and made many roads and bridges impassable. Ten years on, the District Council (WODC) has spent more than £1m on prevention, maintenance and improvements.
When I visited Littlestock Brook in Milton-under-Wychwood last month, I saw for myself many of the measures which will ensure that West Oxfordshire is not vulnerable to flooding. This is a collaborative effort, which persons from the Environment Agent, Wild Oxfordshire, WODC, local parishes and landowners all working together to avoid the appalling impact of flooding we experienced ten years ago.
All of this work and investment is paying off. For example, in Shilton, a bund built in 2014 using an £80,000 grant from the Environment Agency and £15,000 raised by residents and the Parish Council prevented 17 homes from flooding in 2016.
I will continue to work with all bodies involved to ensure that natural flood management continues in West Oxfordshire. It is so important to keep our homes and businesses safe, but this does not need to be at the expense of biodiversity.