On Monday 27th February, the first phase of work began to reduce the risk of future flooding for properties in Kingsley Close in Whitley. The work on a key drainage ditch next to the A33 was agreed and commissioned following several months of meetings between MP for Reading West Alok Sharma, the Kingsley Close residents, and Reading Borough Council. The residents have welcomed the works but are keen 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 second phase of works to the drainage ditch as soon as possible.”