County dips toe into water over flooding cost website

County dips toe into water over flooding cost website

County dips toe into water over flooding cost website

First published in News Banbury Cake: Photograph of the Author by

A NEW trial has been launched to calculate how much money the flooding has cost Oxfordshire.

The initial estimate by the county council is that costs from flooding over the past two weeks will run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

But a spokesman said it was too early to give a specific amount.

A new online portal, called the Severe Weather Impact Monitoring System (SWIMS), launched by Kent County Council, is being trialled for the first time by Oxfordshire County Council in the wake of the floods.

County council officer Nick King presented a report about the portal at a meeting of Oxfordshire Environment Partnership at South Oxfordshire District Council offices yesterday.

He said: “We are actually spending about £700,000 a year on the impact of heavy rain. SWIMS is a website portal on which information can be entered when there has been an event like flooding to tot up the costs.

“It is about collecting the long term information so it can be used to support more investment in things like flood defences.”

County councillor David Nimmo-Smith, cabinet member for environment, said after a significant trial period it will be reviewed before a decision it made whether to adopt it.

He said they expected to publish the results on the county council website after the trial ends in March.

Meanwhile communities are being urged to form Community Action Groups (CAG) to set up action plans to combat flooding.

Mr King added: “It seems natural that those affected by flooding should want to get involved.”

Chairman of Oxford Flood Alliance Peter Rawcliffe said: “I think it is a very good idea – we can’t expect the county council to be everywhere and local people know their own areas far better.”

Related links

Nominate your heroes

PEOPLE across Oxfordshire have suffered as a result of the recent
flooding. And we would now like you to nominate your flood heroes so we can feature them in the Oxford Mail.
They could be council officials who have spent hours standing in the cold to pump water away from properties.
Or they could be neighbours and community leaders who have made a special effort to help out.
You can nominate your hero at oxfordmail.co.uk/news/floodhero or by post to Flood Hero, Oxford Mail, Osney Mead, Oxford, OX2 0EJ with the nominated person’s details, why you are nominating them and your contact details.

Comments (1)

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12:04pm Sun 19 Jan 14

Myron Blatz says...

What's the point in spending public money on flood control and repairing damage, when local councils and their respective 'planning authorities' keep on ignoring the known, proven and very real impact and effect of building on flood plains and clay vales such as in Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley region? It's not just about rivers and streams, but also about building on clay - which creates a natural barrier to rainwater going anywhere, once the topsoil is saturated. Nor is making more developments 'flood friendly' with more garden space and green areas, if built upon clay subsoils. we used to have farmland called 'water meadows' - which wasn't just a nice name for another chic and 'exclusive' housing development, but indicated that the land would flood in times of heavy rain, and when rivers and streams would overflow their banks - into and onto the water meadows. Global warming and changing weather patterns have an impact - but so does the greed and gross stupidity of developers buying cheap land, and planning authorities lacking foresight or professional competence.
What's the point in spending public money on flood control and repairing damage, when local councils and their respective 'planning authorities' keep on ignoring the known, proven and very real impact and effect of building on flood plains and clay vales such as in Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley region? It's not just about rivers and streams, but also about building on clay - which creates a natural barrier to rainwater going anywhere, once the topsoil is saturated. Nor is making more developments 'flood friendly' with more garden space and green areas, if built upon clay subsoils. we used to have farmland called 'water meadows' - which wasn't just a nice name for another chic and 'exclusive' housing development, but indicated that the land would flood in times of heavy rain, and when rivers and streams would overflow their banks - into and onto the water meadows. Global warming and changing weather patterns have an impact - but so does the greed and gross stupidity of developers buying cheap land, and planning authorities lacking foresight or professional competence. Myron Blatz
  • Score: -116

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