THE forecast for rain this week is indeed bleak and, given the traumas experienced in November and December, will be viewed with much trepidation, particularly in South Oxford.

We sincerely hope their fears are not borne out but similarly we make no apology for returning to a subject reported a fortnight ago: the impasse over the flood alleviation work for Hinksey Stream.

It is likely to help ease flooding in South Hinksey, Osney, Binsey and Abingdon Road, yet the scheme is being held up because Network Rail has yet to take ownership of a parcel of land.

Families fear they could again suffer floods that could perhaps be avoided if this scheme had been completed.

We cannot prevent acts of God when a deluge of rain descends on our city.

But we can do our best to mitigate the effect and anyone whose inaction has condemned properties to flood again later this week is partly culpable.