Nicola was in Oxford and Abingdon for the appalling floods of 2007 and has campaigned ever since for long term flood defences. Thousands of her constituents suffer the stress of flood risk every day but when she was elected in 2010 the Government and Environment Agency said we didn’t qualify for a £140m Flood Defence Scheme.
In two years of campaigning, she brought the Environment Secretary to see the flooding for himself, raised the need for long term flood defences in Parliament and taken part in key flood discussions at County Hall and Downing Street.
Already millions of pounds of short and medium term defences mean residents are far better protected than they were in 2007 but still every winter residents and business owners face the uncertainty of being flooded out and transport links shutting down.
That is why she went right to the top, inviting the Prime Minister and Defence Secretary to the Oxford and South Hinksey to see the consequences of repeated flooding on our local community for themselves.
The Chancellor listened and announced £42m for the Oxford and Abingdon Flood Defence Scheme as part of last week’s Autumn Statement.
Along with funding already committed by the Environment Agency and local councils, this means over £100m is now in place and that work can start on the Oxford Flood Relief Channel so that over 7,600 homes and businesses across the constituency can be assured of long term protection from flood risk.
Chancellor George Osborne says ‘Thanks to our long term economic plan, we can invest in the future infrastructure that the UK needs, including flood defences.
Nicola Blackwood has campaigned hard for this scheme in the west of Oxford, and I am delighted to announce that it is included in the flood defence programme.
Investing record amounts in our flood defences is a key part of our long term economic plan, and this will make a big difference to the households and businesses affected.’
Nicola says ‘I was in Oxford for the awful 2007 floods and have campaigned ever since for long term defences for Oxford & Abingdon to protect families, homes and businesses from the destructive flooding we have been experiencing over recent years.
This funding announcement will ensure the Oxford Flood Relief Channel becomes a reality, putting an end to annual flood misery for thousands of homes in my constituency and making sure Oxford becomes a true 21st Century City that stays open for business no matter what the weather.’