Datchet councillor accuses officers of “deleting” parts of River Thames Scheme’s history

AN ANGRY councillor has accused officers of a major flood alleviation scheme of “manipulating” its history as the Royal Borough’s name is taken off the website’s homepage.

National flood prevention party member, councillor Ewan Larcombe (Datchet, Horton, and Wraysbury), said he was angry when he noticed the River Thames Scheme’s website homepage “deleted” the Royal Borough and channel one as if they were never part of the project to begin with.

The £640 million River Thames Scheme was originally set up with three channels to protect 15,000 homes from Datchet to Teddington.

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Last year, the Royal Borough announced they couldn’t progress further with their part of the project, channel one, after failing to raise funds to pay for the scheme by way of a flood infrastructure precept.

Map of the orginal River Thames Scheme

Map of the orginal River Thames Scheme

On the scheme’s website homepage, which was updated March 16, it shows the project will provide flood protection between Egham and Teddington, rather than from Datchet, and only mentions channels two and three, which would cover communities in Surrey and South West London.

The Royal Borough also does not appear in the ‘working in partnership’ section of the page.

Cllr Larcombe said: “Channel one has been totally knocked right out of it, only showing the two channels further downstream, and the all the history has been deleted. Like just expunged, gone, no history at all.

“They are manipulating the information system and it’s just publishing misinformation. It’s all one-sided.”

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However, a River Thames Scheme spokesperson said the website front page was updated to reflect the project now and information on the scheme’s previous design, which includes channel one, can still be accessed on the site.

They added: “Although the proposed Channel one of the River Thames Scheme’s three channels is no longer going ahead, the Environment Agency continues to work with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to explore different options for reducing the flood risk in these communities.”

Royal Borough Observer | Windsor