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New flood defence scheme off ground
PLANS for the long-awaited new flood defence scheme in Moreton are finally set to get off the ground.
The town was one of the worst-hit Cotswold communities during the 2007 floods, which caused widespread devastation to hundreds of properties.
Since unveiling plans for a £400,000 culvert to divert flood water away from the town and into the Stow brook in March, Cotswold District Council (CDC) has been busy carrying out smaller flood works around the town.
Funding now needs to be secured from Gloucestershire Country Council (GCC) and DEFRA while Moreton Town Council has already pledged £7,500 towards the project.
Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, who chaired the latest flood meeting at the Moreton Area Centre on Friday, said it was clear from the 40-strong turnout that the issue was still of “huge concern”.
“By April we should have positive plans in place,” he said. “I think it would be a terrible shame after all this work if the last piece of the jigsaw can’t be completed.”
David Ludford, flood risk management officer at the Environment Agency, said it was likely funding would be secured from Defra in the new year.
“There’s an indicative allocation that’s been made of £100,000 of Government Grant in Aid towards this scheme, subject to approval in February,” he said.
“It’s great news. It puts the Cotswolds in a great position to deliver this scheme because the funding looks like it’s going to be in place.”
David Graham, of the flood risk management team at GCC, said: “Our cabinet is looking at funding at this very moment. The county supports the scheme.” Councillor David Fowles, cabinet member for the environment at CDC, said funding was their top priority.
“We’re conscious we have been living with this issue for five years,” he said.
“We’re pretty confident we’re going to get the money together from the different services.”
Ward councillor Robert Dutton added: “Everything that should have been happening a long time ago is now happening. I’m happy and I hope the town will be happy.”
The next flood meeting will be held on Friday, March 15, next year.