Thursday, 9 January 2014

Sink or Swim

It's not just coastal areas that are affected by our calamitous floods. People in South Oxford, near the Abingdon Road, are completely cut off by flooding and houses are affected in central Oxford, Jericho and the canal area. The Botley Road and the Abingdon Road are closed, and some homes have had to be evacuated. An elderly cyclist who fell into a deep puddle on the Godstow Road has drowned. Trains have been cancelled, toilets in some areas are unusable because the drains are overloaded, and all over Oxford people with cellars are checking them to see if they have turned into indoor swimming-pools.

Oxford Mail: Bob Price at the flood defences.  Picture: OX64523 Marc West

Looking out from a train leaving Oxford and going towards Reading, what you see is like the paddy-fields of China. Even people living in Risinghurst, several hundred feet above river level, have flooded gardens and playing fields and this happens almost every year.
Why does it take a crisis like this to get any money spent on sensible precautions? People are resorting to sand-bag barricades to protect their homes but something far more drastic should have been done years ago.
Four years ago, the Environment Agency considered a plan to build a large new flood relief channel, as wide as the Thames, to alleviate the problem. But this scheme, called the Western Conveyance Channel, was shelved because they could not get the necessary funding. It would cost £160 million.
"The channel – which would run from the area around the Seacourt Park-and-Ride off Botley Road to the River Thames at Sandford Lock – would aim to divert water away from Oxford to stop it spreading across the city.
Although the Western Conveyance project went out to consultation three years ago, it has never progressed due to a lack of funding."
Another approach would be to launch a major campaign to dredge out our national waterways  - rivers, streams and ditches - and this too would cost hundreds of millions of pounds. It would create jobs, but the cash is never there.
Our shambles of a government is spending millions on foreign wars, foreign "aid", helping fanatical Syrian rebels and keeping British soldiers like Alexander Blackman in jail. We pay £15 billion per year to the EU and get little back except stupid regulations. We pay more billions for their bank bail-outs. Few people realize that in the UK, England subsidizes Scotland, Wales and Ireland, sending £49 BILLION per year to them out of our taxes.
If our spending priorities were right, we could easily afford what we need to improve the safety and infrastructure of this country.

England at present is the underdog and that situation is grossly unfair. That is why I am going to vote English Democrat at the next election.

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