Friends of Hurst Park

On Friday, I visited Friends of Hurst Park, a local group of people who are campaigning to protect and preserve the Hurst Park Meadow area. I had a good chat with the group about their aim to guarantee green space status for Hurst Park. They are concerned about the potential risk of future developments on Hurst […]

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Flood Defences

On Friday I met up with local Councillors for Molesey, Steve Bax and Peter Szanto. Amongst other things, we talked about flood defences in Esher and Walton. Flooding has been fresh in our minds recently, with the terrible floods in Cumbria and across the North across Christmas, which left thousands of homes and businesses damaged. […]

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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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Local Fire & Rescue

On Friday, I was briefed by the team at Walton Fire Station, under Area Chief Eddie Roberts and Operations Group Manager Bob Weldon-Gamble. The team demonstrated and explained a range of scenarios that they are trained to deal with, including: water rescue (the depot has bespoke expertise and equipment for this type of rescue); a […]

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Visiting Molesey Lock

Last Friday, I visited Molesey lock. It serves a dual role, as an active waterway and a part of the wider system of flood management in the area. I toured the lock and was briefed by Andrew Pearce, Regional Manager and Matt Carter, Waterways Manager, Steve Bowlam, Molesey lock-keeper, and local volunteer, John Graham. With […]

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Fire and Rescue

Today, I was given a tour of Walton Fire and Rescue Depot. Les Dodd and Paul Kenny explained how the station operates, including the mix of fire response and water-based incidents they have to deal with, coupled with the preventative side of their work in the community. I met with local officers (pictured below), and […]

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Labour’s Failure to Invest in Local Flood Defences

The Royal Institute of British Architects recently predicted that climate change could transform Hull into the ‘Venice of the North’. Attractive as that may sound, I doubt residents in Elmbridge would welcome such a fate. The cold snap has focused minds on the contingency planning required, if climate change results in severe weather extremes. Given […]

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