I am pleased to report I have had a number of positive updates you may not yet be aware of regarding the River Thames Scheme (RTS).
Since writing to the seven councils charged with the task of finding £51.4 million funding shortfall I have had positive responses from Runnymede and Spelthorne Borough Councils promising they will be working with the other councils to find a funding solution. I am also working with the Windsor Liberal Democrats to lobby Windsor Council.
Some good news comes from my conversation with officials at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) yesterday. We were told that out of 1,400 flooding alleviation schemes across the UK the RTS is just one of 6 major projects.
Defra is working with Infrastructure UK and the Treasury to look at the best funding options and with the Environment Agency to ensure they are working with local authorities.
All seven local authorities and planning authorities have signed up to the scheme and we have had positive assurances it will be going ahead.
However, the main priority in the short-term is implementing individual property protection measures and resolving any planning issues by engaging with the local community and local businesses.
The construction of the scheme itself is not expected to begin until 2022 - this is very much a long-term construction and engineering project which requires a lengthy planning process.
I am sure you will agree with me that the fact local councils have all signed up is a giant leap forward.
If you have any concerns or questions about this matter please contact my assistant, Henry on [email protected].