The Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas today writes in the Havering Daily.
The long-awaited report from Havering Council into the August 2020 flash floods has now been issued but for Rainham residents who suffer the worst flooding, the outcome is more delay and no immediate action to protect homes.
Jon Cruddas MP in March 2021 brought together Havering Council, Thames Water, the Environment Agency and Network Rail to focus on actions to mitigate flood risk for his constituents living in the Rainham area.
Havering Council’s Flood Investigation Section 19 report into the flash floods was released on 1 November. The report highlights that of the 72 locations affected in the borough overwhelmingly the worst affected area was Rainham. However, the outcome of the report is to arrange a further investigation and yet another report into the problem for Rainham.
As it was not considered possible to delineate one or several sources as a primary cause of flooding to the areas near Brookway, South Rainham, where considerable property flooding occurred, it is recommended a separate investigation be undertaken. This investigation should aim to more fully understand flooding in the area and allow agreement of an updated, cross-agency Water Management Plan for the marshes and surrounding areas, including participation from TW, RSPB, LBH, EA and NR. The plan could include agreed upon emergency response procedures in the event of predicted severe weather and will facilitate joint understanding of the overall hydrology mechanisms in the area and cooperation between the agencies towards preventative measures through joint management. (Page 35 Section 5.2 “Recommended actions” of the report)
Jon Cruddas responded to the report: “Rainham residents need action now to protect their homes and reduce flood risk. All Havering Council offer is further delay. What is clear from this report is that the distress and damage suffered by residents of Rainham village was far worse and far more homes were affected than the rest of the borough put together.
There can be no question that tackling this should be the outright priority, there has been sufficient time to come up with an action plan to protect the area. We are coming up to another winter and the Council should be putting in place a plan of action which offers immediate, medium, and long-term protections.”
This week Jon Cruddas MP will be calling on Havering Council to work alongside the necessary agencies to deliver the following:
• Immediate more frequent clearance of road side gullies and drains by Havering Council in conjunction with Thames Water
• Medium term clearance of watercourses, ditches and sewers to make sure heavy rainfall can clear the area by the Council, Environment Agency and Network Rail
• Longer term invest in more resilient water management schemes upstream of Rainham and make sure all new housing schemes include measures to better manage water and not simply connect to existing drainage systems that are beyond capacity already.