SIR – The recent flooding in northern England and Scotland should remind local residents of the severe flooding in Witney in 2007.

In the past 15 years there has been severe flooding in Witney, Oxford and the Thames Valley, Somerset, Hull, Gloucestershire, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumbria.

No longer can we assume that severe flooding is a rare event; it is the norm.

How long before it is Witney’s turn again?

One hopes that the Environment Agency gives the highest priority to the protection of people and property in which case perhaps we will see the River Windrush and its tributaries being cleaned out, reeds cut back and banks cleared. Such regular, low cost routine maintenance is essential.

Oxford is to be provided with a relief channel so one hopes that Witney is not being sacrificed to protect Oxford.

Further work requires the whole river catchment to be examined with a combination of hard and soft measures implemented. Witney residents need to hear from the relevant authorities, the Environment Agency, the county council, the district council and town council: what have you done since 2007, what are you now doing, and what plans have you in the near future to substantially reduce the probability of severe flooding in Witney?

Perhaps our local MP could use his influence (if he has any) to get things moving.

Roger R Ball
Gloucester Court Mews