£245,000 Flood Defence Equipment given first ‘dry run’

  |  Published: Aug 21st 2017
Bucks and Oxfordshire Response Group, County and District Councillors, Council officers and Residents with the pump. photo courtesy Bucks County Council
Bucks and Oxfordshire Response Group, County and District Councillors, Council officers and Residents with the pump

Flood defenders turned out on Saturday to test-drive £245,000 worth of emergency equipment designed to protect the vulnerable Willows estate in Aylesbury.  The ‘dry run’ by the 30-strong Willows Flood Deployment Force aimed to test the equipment and train the team.

The day, organised by Buckinghamshire County Council Flood Management Team is a milestone in the recovery from the February 2014 flash floods in Aylesbury, in which 79 properties in the Willows estate suffered from flood damage.

Although the 79 households were offered £5,000 compensation to protect against future flooding, the possibility of future flood damage to more houses should the river burst its bank was seen as too much of a risk. This led the Residents Flood Committee, led by Gary Wade, to pool the money to buy equipment that would protect all 450 households in the estate.

Delivered in January 2016, the equipment includes around half a mile of emergency flood barrier, which works with six pumps that can shift the equivalent of 120 bath tubs of water in a minute.

County Councillor Steve Lambert said: “I am delighted that the first ‘dry-run’ of the equipment went so well. All of the residents can rest assure knowing that some of the best equipment is in place to protect them”

Bill Chapple OBE, Cabinet Member for Planning and the Environment said: “Since the disaster in 2014, the Willows community has shown an amazing level of community spirit. To pool all the government granted compensation together to protect all 450 households is a real testament to the community of the Willows estate.”

The Willows Flood Deployment Force is made up of county, district and town councillors, council officers and members of the 20-strong Bucks and Oxon Response Group who used their four-wheel drive vehicles to move the defences from the County Council's Griffin Lane Depot to the Willows estate.

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