Oxford street gets dedicated flood pump after securing grant

  • Watch Emma Wilkinson's report

More than nine years after some of the worst flooding Oxford has ever seen, residents in one community that was badly affected have come together to protect their homes for the future.

People living on Earl Street, off Botley Road, have seen their houses overwhelmed by water a number of times, including in 2000, 2003 and 2007.

The worst deluge was in 2007, when hundreds of people across the county had to leave their homes.

Today residents in Earl Street were shown a new, dedicated, mobile pump that will be available to them in the event of future floods.

Nick Hills, an Earl Street resident and member of the Oxford Flood Alliance Steering Group, applied for a grant to pay for the pump after becoming aware of Scottish and Southern Energy Network's Community Resilience Fund. The energy company awards grants of up to £20,000 to community projects.

His bid was successful and SSE awarded the full cost of the pump, which had been reduced to £19,830 by Stuart Pumps Ltd, which provides the City Council with its pumps.

Whilst we in Earl Street have been extremely well served by the local authorities in terms of flood avoidance, protection and resilience, there have been occasions in the early stages of a flood when we were desperately waiting for a decision to be made by both the Environment Agency and the City Council as to where they should deploy their limited number of mobile auxiliary pumps.

Nick Hills

Local MP, Nicola Blackwood, attended the pump's unveiling today. She said while shorter-term flood projects like this are crucial, a planned flood relief channel will be a 'game-changer' when it comes to reducing flooding risk in the long-term.

The £120m project would work by diverting flood water across the open flood plain and away from properties which currently flood.