Managing Flood Risk in Elmbridge

Today, I met with Julia Simpson and David Murphy, from the Environment Agency, to get an update on progress with the Lower River Thames Flood Scheme. The overarching strategy involves building flood river channels upstream, strengthening weir capacity at Sunbury and Molesey, improved property defences, enhanced coordination with local communities at neighbourhood level, and continuing […]

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Dealing with the Floods

This morning, I visited Elmbridge Borough Council’s (EBC) floods operations room at the civic centre in Esher. I heard from Rob Moran, the Chief Executive, and talked to officers on the challenges of making people aware of the changing flood risk, distributing sandbags, contacting the elderly and vulnerable and – where required – supporting temporary […]

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Flooding in Elmbridge

Elmbridge has been hit by the flooding caused by unprecedented weather conditions. Whilst damage has been done across the borough, properties near the River Thames – including Walton, Molesey and Thames Ditton – have been worst hit. Living in Thames Ditton, I have seen the rising river levels first-hand. I will be visiting some of […]

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Getting Better Deals on Energy Bills

It’s always good to get advice from local experts. James Ringshall in Claygate is the Managing Director of Oroco Utilities, which run a free website service that compares energy deals to help find the best one.  You can check out the website here. It chimes with a wider policy initiative I am engaged with, namely promoting ‘group switching’ […]

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Affordable Homes in Elmbridge

The UK has a major shortage of affordable homes. The parlous state of the public finances has made filling the gap more difficult – although, it has to be said, more affordable homes have been built in each year under the coalition, than in any of the thirteen under Labour. At a local level, the need […]

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The Medicine Garden, Cobham

I just discovered one of the most amazing places I have come across in Elmbridge – I am kicking myself it took so long! Green fingers, Paul Studholme, created the Medicine Garden out of the old overgrown kitchen garden at Cobham Park. It is an incredible mix of things: a zen place to pause, forget about […]

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Is Britain becoming a police state?

With border officials detaining the partner of an investigative journalist at Heathrow for nine hours, and the arrest of 25 anti-fracking protesters at Balcombe, there is renewed debate over the balance between state power and personal freedom in Britain. One of Britain’s foremost thinkers on freedom, John Stuart Mill, argued in 1859 that we should adopt the ‘harm […]

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