River Thames Scheme petition to be debated at Windsor & Maidenhead full council

WRAYSBURY Parish Council is set to make representations to the Royal Borough over a major flood defence scheme.

A petition, which was set up by the parish, has reached the 1,500 signature mark – meaning it will be heard at full council sometime this year.

The campaign is a joint effort between Wraysbury, Datchet, Horton, and Old Windsor, who are urging the Royal Borough to ‘honour its commitment’ to the £640 million River Thames Scheme, which was set up with three channels to protect 15,000 homes from Datchet to Teddington.

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

Map of the orginal River Thames Scheme

Map of the orginal River Thames Scheme

At an extraordinary Wraysbury Parish Council (WPC) meeting on Monday, March 29, members from Datchet, Horton, Wraysbury, and Old Windsor decided what they want to say to borough councillors within the five-minute timeframe they are allowed to speak for.

Members agreed to emphasise there is ‘no plan B’ and the River Thames Scheme is vital the only option to greatly reduce the risk of flooding.

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Wraysbury parish councillor Lora Andrew suggested they should consider mentioning dredging their part of the River Thames during the full council meeting in case borough councillors don’t support the petition.

She said: “I think we should push the point that whatever money they do give us should cover the dredger and we can be responsible for our stretch of the river.

“If they propose to give us £10,000, that’s pitiful. It needs to be something tangible that we can say ‘we need this amount for a dredger if you’re not going to fund the River Thames Scheme’.

“So, it’s either-or.”

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The chair of WPC, councillor Margaret Lenton, who will be speaking at the future full council meeting on behalf of the four parishes, said the whole purpose of the petition was for the Royal Borough to honour its commitment to the scheme and will avoid mentioning dredging.

Speaking after the meeting, Royal Borough councillor Ewan Larcombe (Datchet, Horton, and Wraysbury), said: “The petition probably won’t change their [the Royal Borough council] minds – but somebody has got to do something.

“You cannot leave us with the risk of flooding. This is just history repeating itself.”

Royal Borough Observer | Windsor