First anniversary of floods that devastated parts of Cirencester

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: First anniversary of floods that devastated parts of Cirencester First anniversary of floods that devastated parts of Cirencester

A YEAR has passed since Cirencester and the surrounding areas fell victim to some of the worst flooding ever to hit the Cotswolds.

During the last weekend of November in 2012, the River Churn burst its banks at several locations with homes near the Abbey Grounds and the Tesco store in Kingsmeadow being the worst affected.

The Standard contacted Thames Water to find out what work had been done to prevent devastation from striking the town for a second year running.

A spokesman for Thames Water said: “We’ve carried out a number of works in the area over the last year, including carrying out a study of Cirencester to full understand the hydraulics of the area and identify problem spots.

“The work doesn’t end here though and we’ll be continuing to make every effort to work with local authorities to help prevent flooding in the area.”

Thames Water also informed the Standard that essential work had already been carried out in many of the town’s flooding blackspots, including Blake Road, Hereward Road and Spitalgate Lane.

However, 12 months after his first public bashing of Thames Water, Cirencester mayor Joe Harris has said that the water giant isn’t doing enough for its customers.

He said: “We see lots of roads being dug up but we’re never told what is actually being done.

“Communication is the number one problem. You would think that a company which makes million and millions of pounds in profits would be able to contact the residents in their area.

“I’m not aware of Thames Water writing to residents to inform them of what is going on.”

Cllr Harris also claimed that the River Churn will inevitably flood unless Thames Water provides significant defence measures.

The mayor’s hostile feelings towards Thames Water were matched by Mike Stuart, chairman of South Cerney Parish Council, who said that the firm have not installed any form of flood prevention measures in the village.

He said: “They’ve said that the main trouble is water getting into the pipes. They’ve more or less told us that we need to expect flooding. It’s always the same problem and it’s not being dealt with.”

Mr Stuart told the Standard that the memory of last year’s floods, which saw sewage seep into people’s homes, was still very raw for the village.

Cirencester Town Council has implemented an Emergency Plan which gives details of what action should be taken if the town floods again.

Further information can be found at www.cirencester.gov.uk.

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