A PETITION has been submitted demanding the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) fund their part of the major flood protection scheme.

The Observer reported Wraysbury Parish Council agreed on September 21 to put forward an online petition on RBWM’s website urging the council to seek “alternative partnership funding” as the River Thames Scheme is to go ahead without the borough.

The £640 million River Thames Scheme was set up with three channels to protect 15,000 homes from Datchet to Teddington – but channel one – which protects Datchet to Bells Weir – will not be progressed.

This is due to partners in the scheme being ‘unprepared to wait any further’ for RBWM to secure £43 million out if its £53 million commitment by lobbying government to set a flood levy on residents to pay for it.

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Royal Borough Observer:

The petition – which was submitted by councillor Margret Lenton on behalf of Wraysbury Parish Council – demands RBWM to provide the same level of flood protection for the residents of Datchet, Horton, Wraysbury, and Old Windsor.

It states: “The residents of this area of the Borough deserve the same protection afforded to Windsor, Eton and Maidenhead since the completion of the Jubilee River nearly two decades ago.

“During those two decades this area and its residents have endured flooding on three separate occasions and have been repeatedly assured of future protection.”

So far, the campaign has accumulated over 334 signatures since its launch on October 13 (Tuesday) where it needs 1,500 signatures in order for it to be heard at a full council meeting. 

Councillor David Cannon (Conservative: Datchet, Horton, and Wraysbury), lead member for public protection and parking, said: “We remain bitterly disappointed that we have been unable to proceed with the section of the River Thames Scheme which lies within Datchet and Wraysbury.

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“Despite extensive and intensive lobbying with our MPs, the government has failed to provide the mechanism to raise funding to pay for this scheme but we hope this petition will serve as another reminder that this scheme is needed within our borough.

“We have been pushing for the government to provide the legislation needed to permit local authorities to raise funds by the way of a flood infrastructure levy. We have always stated that this legislation is required to enable RBWM to fund its contribution to the scheme.

“We remain as committed as we were in 2017 and have approved £10m for this scheme. However, without the legislation, the council does not have the ability to fund the remaining element of our commitment, at this time.”

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National Flood Prevention Party member councillor Ewan Larcombe (Datchet, Horton, and Wraysbury) said: “To me, it’s absolutely unacceptable for the channel one to be abandoned where there was no notice, no consultation, nothing at all.

“Cllr Cannon just said there isn’t the money available for the River Thames Scheme.”

The deadline for the petition is April 2021 and can be viewed here: https://petitions.rbwm.gov.uk/RTSfunding/