AS we creep into autumn and get closer to winter, flooding fears will, no doubt, be intensified again.

So it is imperative that the relevant authorities have a strategy in place to combat the inevitable problems in Witney.

In 2007, flooding caused devastation to hundreds of homes and split the town in two as Bridge Street was impassable.

Last winter saw the worst flooding since then, but similar damage was narrowly avoided.

Next time we might not be so lucky and it is up to the Environment Agency (EA) to consider every potential solution.

The Witney Anti-Flood Group believes the West End Link Road should be used for the dual purpose of easing traffic and acting as a flood barrier.

There is opposition to this scheme from other residents and some councillors, but what many people agree on is that the EA needs to inject cash into the town’s flood defences.

The agency has said no engineered defences are worth the outlay but you can’t always put a value on the devastation and disruption to families whose homes are ruined by flooding.

It may be too late to properly equip Witney this winter, but there should be solid plans in place to deal with future flooding – particularly with at least another 3,500 homes to be built in the town over the next 15 years.