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Tewkesbury watercourses and ditches cleared to protect homes from flooding


Work has begun to remove silt from ditches and watercourses in the Tewkesbury to help make the town resilient to flooding.

Removing overgrowth and blockages from watercourses and ditches can help water flow freely and can reduce the risk of flooding for residents and businesses.

Joint working between Gloucestershire County Council, Tewkesbury Borough Council and the Environment Agency is keeping watercourses clear so that drainage systems built on natural land can work efficiently.

Trees are being trimmed back and silt is being removed which will also help the floodplain to do its job, and help reduce river levels on the Severn at times of flooding.

The county council has given £10,000 to fund the flood protection work, with further resources from the Environment Agency. Tewkesbury Borough Council has arranged for the work to be carried out.

Cllr Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways and flood at Gloucestershire County Council said, "I'm really excited about this project. It shows how the county council, the borough council and the Environment Agency can work in partnership to manage flood risk and help to avoid properties from being flooded. Our work will bring these ditches and watercourses up to a good standard ready for landowners to make sure they're kept to this standard in the future. I believe that good maintenance is a priority issue."

Cllr Jim Mason, lead member for clean and green environment at Tewkesbury Borough Council said, "It's great to be involved in this partnership and the work carried out will make a big difference. Flood alleviation is one of the priorities for Tewkesbury Borough Council and we hope this most recent work will reassure residents and maybe inspire others to clear silt and debris from watercourses and ditches on their own land too."

Cllr Phillip Awford, the Environment Agency's regional flood and coastal committee member for Gloucestershire said, "Clearing watercourses is vital to reduce flood risk and protect homes and businesses from the trauma that flooding brings. This project is a great example of partnership work between councils and the Environment Agency to help the local people of Tewkesbury who live in flood risk areas without increasing risk elsewhere."

The two councils and the Environment Agency have a good track record of working together to reduce the risk of flooding, and ditch clearing is one of the ways they work in partnership to make the most of the resources available.

The county council's highway crews work around the clock every day of the year to keep Gloucestershire safe and moving. Anyone on Twitter can follow @GlosRoads to find out what is being worked on at the moment and look out for the hashtag #highways365 for the latest updates.

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