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  • Planning permission granted for Purley flood alleviation works
    indicated that work will now begin on the bund on Tuesday 26th August 2014 Work has already been completed on a pumping platform by River Gardens which will help prevent erosion of the riverbank and allows pipes to be secured firmly in place when flooding does occur to stop the pipes from moving during pumping and will help to keep the roads open Alok Sharma said It has taken a lot of prodding and even a bit of screaming from me but I am delighted that we now have the green light for works to start and after severe flooding over many years my Purley constituents will be relieved that a scheme is finally being delivered which I hope will help to alleviate some of the impact of flooding on local homes Vice Chairman of Purley Parish Council Bernard Nix said We in the lower village welcome the news that the bund is to go ahead at last We recognise that it is not a full solution to our flooding problems but it will go some way to protect the Eastern end of the village and in particular enable the road to remain open longer and we appreciate the efforts

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/739 (2016-02-14)
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  • Future flood protection explained to residents during Purley public meeting
    bund to the north of Wintringham Way Martin Bryan apologised on behalf of the Environment Agency for not starting work sooner on the bund but explained that funding has been secured for the work which will begin as soon as ground conditions allow The Environment Agency outlined the level of protection that the scheme would offer residents 2 The introduction of a pumping platform by River Gardens The Environment Agency will construct a platform on the side of the river so that when flooding does occur and pumps have to be deployed the pipes that are used can be securely fastened in place This will stop the pipes from moving during pumping and a ramp will be provided over the pipes ensuring the road remains usable for cars The platform will also stop the erosion to the river bank The Environment Agency also discussed a number of other options for flood alleviation which could be implemented including individual property level protection as well as other large flood alleviation schemes However the Agency explained that some of those possible options would not yield the cost to benefit ratio to which the Agency has to work and therefore would require some form of partnership funding to be implemented An initiative announced by the Prime Minister during the recent flooding to provide a repair and renew grant to businesses and households affected by flooding was also highlighted by Alok Sharma and West Berkshire Council officer Jon Winstanley The 5 000 grants which can be used to pay for repairs which improve a property s ability to withstand future flooding are being administered by the Council The meeting concluded with a question and answer session during which the dredging of the River Thames was raised Alok has received a written response from the Environment Agency which he promised to distribute to residents which states Dredging the River Thames would not be a sustainable method to reduce property flood risk simply because rivers silt up again relatively quickly One of the limitations to the perceived benefit of dredging is the in channel restrictions created by locks weirs culverts and low bridges These structures have a permanent bed level which cannot easily be lowered and consequently limits the amount of water that can flow through them As a result any dredging upstream of these structures would have little effect Alok Sharma said I would like to thank those that have worked so hard during the recent floods to help residents get back to normality The local flood wardens who offer their services on a voluntary basis have proven themselves in particular to be remarkably selfless and we have seen some excellent examples of community spirit during this difficult time Alok continued This was a very productive meeting which provided residents an opportunity to let the Environment Agency and West Berkshire Council know the areas where they felt they could do better in the event of future flooding Residents have every right to feel disappointed that more

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/652 (2016-02-14)
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  • Sharma presses Environment Agency for quick delivery of Purley Flood Alleviation Scheme
    the flood alleviation scheme and the protection it will offer The meeting will be held at Purley Barn at 7pm To assist with planning those interested in attending should email alok sharma mp parliament uk or call 0118 9413 803 A number of Purley residents in Wintringham Way River Gardens and Chestnut Grove have faced flooding in recent weeks due to the River Thames rising Alok Sharma said Having visited residents who have faced flooding over Christmas and more recently I know how important it is that we get flood alleviation measures in place which were discussed by the Environment Agency in March last year at the public meeting I held in Purley Alok continued There are lessons to be learnt by the Environment Agency about the slow pace of delivering the bund at the back of Wintringham Way The Agency clearly dropped the ball and I absolutely get the frustration of affected residents However I am pleased that we have now agreed a schedule for works to take place and I will be continuing to press the Environment Agency for quick delivery of this scheme Purley Parish Council Vice Chair Bernard Nix said After nine months of frustration and irritation at the succession of delays to this project the residents of Purley welcome the firming up of the plans to deliver this important protection for our village There are still details of the work to be clarified but we are hopeful that the solution and planned timescales will give us on going protection from 1 in 4 5 year type flood events West Berkshire lead councillor for Emergency Planning Pamela Bale said I am pleased that the Environment Agency has now agreed the specification of this scheme and a timetable for constructing the bund and I would like to

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/634 (2016-02-14)
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  • Sharma holds Purley public meeting on flooding
    should send out a newsletter to residents on a quarterly basis with details of ongoing completed and future works Following a question raised by a resident about buses not stopping in Purley during floods West Berkshire Council confirmed that they have discussions ongoing with Reading Buses about safe alternative routes which would still stop in Lower Purley during times of flooding In January the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee RFCC announced that it would invest 10 5m in levy funding during 2013 14 in local flood defence schemes across London and the Thames Valley which is a 500 000 increase on the funding from the previous year Alok Sharma said The feedback I have received from local residents after the meeting suggests that they found it useful but of course what they want is for the Environment Agency to deliver in 2013 on some of the incremental flood mitigation measures discussed during the meeting I look forward to receiving the Agency s letter summarising the mitigation measures it is exploring for Purley with a timetable for potential implementation and will share this with all local residents and as promised I will also circulate a questionnaire to Purley households to get their further views on flood alleviation which is a big issue for local people Alok continued One of the frustrations residents have had in the past is the lack of information about the local work the Environment Agency is doing and so it is good news that at my suggestion the Agency will start to circulate a regular newsletter My grateful thanks to everyone who attended the meeting and a really big thank you to our Purley flood wardens who do such a great job when the local area does suffer from flooding Ian Tomes West Thames West Thames Flood

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/461 (2016-02-14)
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  • Sharma organises meeting to update Kingsley Close residents on flood alleviation action
    to provide information to residents on work which began in February to improve surface water drainage Residents heard from Reading Borough Council that work had been done to clear the drainage ditch alongside the A33 on the former Courage Brewery site and were shown before and after photographs to demonstrate the improved situation Residents cautiously welcomed the improvements but were keen to ensure that the ditch was not allowed to revert back to its previous state Having experienced severe flooding in both July 2007 and August 2011 Kingsley Close residents contacted Alok in August 2011 to express their concerns that not enough was being done to prevent further instances of flooding in the future Alok then took up their case vigorously with the Council Thames Water and the Environment Agency It is now hoped that the re profiling works undertaken at the ditch will be enough to stop it overflowing in the event of heavy rainfall and causing further flooding Alok said To reassure residents Reading Borough Council has confirmed that it will undertake a regular maintenance programme to ensure that the ditch does not get blocked up again I understand that surveyors from Peter Brett Associates have also been commissioned by the Council to look to see if additional work can be undertaken downstream to improve the situation further Alok continued I am pleased that residents have now had their concerns acted upon and I will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that the Council keeps to its pledge of a regular maintenance programme Julia Horne Kingsley Close resident said We are grateful that the Council has committed to undertake a regular maintenance programme as we do not want the ditch to get blocked up again There was some anxiety among residents during April when other areas of

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/348 (2016-02-14)
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  • Sharma welcomes first phase of flood alleviation works in Whitley and presses for second phase of works
    that Alok continues to press the Council for a second phase of work on the ditch The first phase of work which is expected to last for ten days will involve reprofiling the ditch to adjust its gradient and remove silt so that the ditch is returned to its original specified dimensions This should improve water flow and allow surface water to drain away more quickly during periods of heavy rain and Reading Borough Council has indicated that it should therefore substantially reduce the risk of flooding in Kingsley Close Whilst residents are pleased that the Council has finally taken action to try to resolve this issue they remain concerned that the work currently being undertaken may not be sufficient Alok is therefore pressing the Council with respect to a second phase of work to widen the drainage ditch beyond its original specified dimensions in order to increase further its water carrying capacity and decrease the risk of flooding in Kingsley Close Alok said I am pleased that the Council has listened to local residents and agreed to take action I very much hope the clearing of the ditch produces the results expected I would like to thank those in Kingsley Close who have been involved for their persistence and positive manner during this difficult time I also want to assure resident that I will continue to press the Council on the second phase of works to the ditch so that those living in Kingsley Close can finally have the peace of mind they deserve Local resident Mike Coombes said This has been a long running issue and so I welcome the first phase of flood alleviation works Residents are anxious that the risk of future flooding is reduced to a minimum and so we are keen to see the

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/318 (2016-02-14)
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  • Sharma and Bale highlight local disappointment with intended closure of NatWest branch in Pangbourne
    the NatWest and RBS representatives were unable to give any detailed rationale for the closure of the Pangbourne branch Alok said Following October s meeting I have been in contact with a number of senior executives at NatWest and RBS including the RBS Group Chief Executive Steven Hester Brian Hartzer RBS Group CEO responsible for Retail Banking Joseph Donkor RBS Regional Director for the South West Jennie Bartlett Local Chief Executive of NatWest and Rebecca Wright Regional Public Affairs Manager at RBS Unfortunately no one from NatWest or RBS has been able to answer the question as to whether the Pangbourne branch is profitable or not Due to lack of any response on this issue I can only assume that the branch is profitable and there is some other reason for closing it down Alok continued Brian Hartzer wrote to me on 25th October stating I want to stress that we keep our branch network under constant review to ensure we are able to offer the best service we can to our customers Should the situation change in Pangbourne we will of course look at the banking services we provide in the area I have to say there has been absolutely no willingness by NatWest or RBS to engage in any meaningful dialogue to review the closure decision and NatWest s local customers and I have been incredibly disappointed at this lack of response There is clearly still an opportunity for Mr Hartzer and NatWest to make good on their words and engage on reviewing the closure decision and many of us locally would be happy to provide input to find a way of keeping the branch open Pamela Bale West Berkshire Councillor for Pangbourne said I am most concerned at the way NatWest has dealt with the closure of

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/293 (2016-02-14)
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  • Sharma and Bale organise meeting to discuss intended closure of NatWest branch in Pangbourne
    400 signatures to date I contacted the Reading Chronicle who printed an article and this has attracted national interest from the Daily Mail Royston Hine owner of award winning local butchers Greens of Pangbourne said Apart from the loss of a local banking facility for businesses we shopkeepers are concerned that if people have to go to Tilehurst or Reading to do their banking they may not come to Pangbourne to shop While local people are likely to remain loyal Pangbourne is a hub for many small surrounding villages and the loss of even a percentage of their trade would be detrimental to the viability of some village shops Paul Sampson Director of Green Parlour said We depend on the Pangbourne branch for banking of daily takings and change facilities The closure will disrupt our business Pamela Bale West Berkshire Councillor for Pangbourne and Liz White Chairman of Pangbourne Parish Council said We are concerned about the impact on the vulnerable members of the community who currently bank with NatWest and who are most unlikely to be users of internet banking as well as the potential impact on the future prosperity of the village Tilehurst and Reading may not be many miles away but a visit using public transport takes time and effort a change of two infrequent buses to get to Tilehurst Councillor Bale continued Pangbourne is currently a vibrant village and is identified as a Service Village in the West Berkshire Council draft Local Development Framework as it currently offers a wide range of shops and facilities A reduction in services will affect the sustainability of the village and the ability to support neighbouring areas Taking away the NatWest bank which offers the most accessible banking services in the village will have a significant effect on the future

    Original URL path: http://www.aloksharma.co.uk/print/276 (2016-02-14)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2016-10-21