Question mark over source of £14.4m prevention cash

Banbury Cake: A car makes it way through floods in East Hanney A car makes it way through floods in East Hanney

OFFICIALS have still been unable to explain where funding is coming from for £14.4m flood prevention schemes due to begin this year.

On Thursday, the Government revealed a list of flood schemes that would begin in 2014/15.

On it was £14.4m for the county.

But despite information from the Government’s website stating that the schemes would commence this year, the Environment Agency (EA) would only confirm that £368,000 was going towards new and on-going schemes.

The EA was last night still unable to explain where the other money was coming from or whether it was new cash.

The agency has confirmed that 11 new flood prevention schemes in Oxfordshire have received funding.

However, none of the £130 million funding announced by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles in Parliament on Thursday has so far been allocated to Oxford.

Holly Haldane, from the EA, said: “It is too early to say at this stage whether any of this money will go to Oxford. We are still investigating the full cost of the floods in December, January and early February.”

Betty Fletcher, 70, of Stockleys Road in Oxford, lives next to one of the 2014/15 schemes – the proposed Northway and Marston flood Alleviation Scheme.

The Oxford Flood Alliance member said: “This funding issue has been going on for some time. I don’t think anyone is being clear about it.”

Councillor Rodney Rose, lead member for flooding, Oxfordshire County Council, said of the £368,000: “Many of these schemes are actually funded by councils working together to reduce flooding risk in the Thames Valley region.”

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