Council bolsters its approach to flood risk management

West Oxfordshire District Council has agreed to strengthen its approach to flood risk management by dedicating more resources to developing flood prevention schemes, reviewing the state of critical water courses to ensure their proper management, and exploring natural flood management schemes.

The agreement has been made to further reinforce the Council’s commitment to creating a better environment for people and wildlife, as well responding diligently to the current climate and ecological emergency. 

Councillor Lidia Arciszewska, Executive Member for Environment, said, “The Council's ambition with respect to flood risk management is not only to deliver just above its statutory obligations by supporting local residents and communities during flooding events, but to liaise with and lobby stakeholders such as Thames Water, Environment Agency and Oxfordshire County Council. This will help to lift our waterways out of their current ecological crisis and incentivise and support various partner organisations and community groups and landowners in setting up natural flood management schemes.  

“Our aim is to provide a platform for collaboration between these various organisations to provide meaningful and measurable outcomes. We also aim to engage with West Oxfordshire residents; an example of such work was a highly successful Waterways Day, which took place in November 2022.

 “With the urgent status of the climate emergency and its impact on our local communities, we are committed to working harder than ever to ensure the district is prepared and resilient in the face of extreme weather conditions that are becoming increasingly frequent and intense.

“We will be taking an even more proactive approach to watercourse maintenance, making sure we anticipate possible risks and act early."

The agreement will see the Council taking a more pro-active stance to carrying out inspections on critical watercourses and assets, with us working with the owners of these water courses to ensure they carry out reparatory work, before watercourses become congested. This will make a significant impact and potentially reduce the risk of flooding in some areas of the district.

We will also work with Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFA) to ensure they are meeting their statutory duties in areas such as highways maintenance, which can have a significant impact on flooding. We plan to lead and assist partners to draft bids for external funding and explore Natural Flood Management schemes that other agencies are not prepared to consider. Our focus is also to ensure that our opinions are heard through internal and external consultations with water companies and the County Council. 

For more on our approach to flood management you can visit our website

Contact Information

West Oxfordshire District Council Communications Team

[email protected]