Water? No thanks! Council Flood Risk Strategy Consultation

High tides in Twickenham

High tides in Twickenham

Water. Bloody brilliant, isn’t it? You can drink it, give it to plants, take a shower in it and even heat it up to help make a Pot Noodle. Apparently, some people use it in toilets in their homes rather than use their neighbour’s garden. Fascinating. H2O, it really is a versatile element. It’s the perfect combination of oxygen and, err, helium. And with all that helium it’s no wonder that if you drink too much of it – in the form of beer – then you end up talking in a silly squeaky voice. Older readers may recall hydrogen being used as the preferred ingredient for water but, after the Hindenburg disaster in 1937, this was deemed too dangerous for public consumption. Despite its uses, water’s not so good when there’s absolutely loads of it – and mucky stuff at that – and it gets into your carpet or your parked car. We’ve seen it happen and when it does it’s called flooding and flooding can be right royal pain.

Flooding has many causes. It’s often caused by too much rain or by high tides or by leaving the bath running. Often it’s a combination of all three. And of course if you live in Henley it can be caused by David Silvester the local UKIP councillor writing to complain to David Cameron who’s just got a gay marriage… to a man. His letter was, of course, just vanity publishing because Cameron and his Oxfordshire chums live upstream from Henley which meant that the flooding that Cameron caused was targeted specifically at David Silvester himself in Henley. That bloke off of UKIP clearly needs to buy some wellies and be more careful about what he wishes for, or at least go and stay with people he doesn’t like when he pens his letters.

But Twickenham lies downstream from Henley which means Cameron’s marriage has also put us at risk too. Combine that with the Thames here being tidal and it’s double trouble. And that is why Richmond Council are consulting on a ‘local flood risk management strategy’. As El Brute say on their website: “We have a duty to coordinate flood risk management within the borough to ensure that local flood risks are identified and managed. We are required by law to develop a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy, which will explain how we will be achieving this”. That’s good. Or is it?

Richmond Council often brags about being the only London borough that straddles the Thames but this has now come back to bite them, big time. For any other Borough along the river, the flood management solution is simple: build a wall on your side of the river a tiny bit higher than the wall on the opposite bank and hey presto, problem solved. If you’re Hammersmith & Fulham you build your wall up and it’s a case of bye bye Wandsworth, and so on. But Richmond Council can’t do this. They would need to build walls on both sides of the river. It wouldn’t take long before the Council was at war with itself which is not allowed because it’s against United Nations regulations. It would also be a waste of taxpayers’ money.

To solutionise other options, Richmond Council are asking for your views on flood risks in the borough, whether you’ve suffered from flooding and whether you’re prepared for the next one. Are you? It probably won’t ask if you hang around at the end of Water Lane or Church Lane waiting for cars to fill up with water so that you can take photos and post them on Twitter because that’s already being well managed by local residents. There’s even a survey too. The deadline is 28th February. That is all.

* El Brute Flood Strategy Consultation

Flooding by St Mary's Church

Flooding by St Mary’s Church


Filed under Council, Local Issues & News

31 responses to “Water? No thanks! Council Flood Risk Strategy Consultation

  1. “Rain to blame for flooding” a spokesman for rain denied that that it was to blame saying…..

    • It was resident fault for wanting free water and had they paid for it ..it would properly been proportioned out depending on the amounts paid for..but due to the high demand the rain company could not guarantee that the demand could not be fairly administered thus resulting in over delivery in some areas..
      Enid Bloggs a resident complained about being called a ‘ rain scrounger ‘ claiming that she ‘ needed ‘ a drop of rain to water her cabbages ..
      However another resident Major Smith-Smythe Blinkerly complained about all the immigrants coming over here and stealing our British rainfall…” Its an absolute disgrace ” he said ” I didnt fight a war just to let any old tom dick and harry rob this country of our traditional values ” ” these people should be hung and then put in workhouses it never did me any harm” he went on to say…

  2. @Alexis what’s next ‘ “starvationalisation’ ‘ destitutionalise’
    Or ‘residents bring flooding on themselves by living near river area”

  3. Anonymous

    well if you dont read the signs, you DESERVE to get your car flooded!!!
    BTW the signs and ‘flooding’ has been there since I wuz a kid 45 years ago!!! 😀

    good laugh, waiting for the river to rise, and watching the desperate drivers!!! LOL

    • Rufus McDufus

      It is good fun laughing at all the wet cars but I do think the signage could be a bit better. The problem is we don’t all know the daily high tide times. It doesn’t flood every day by any means, and I think it would be useful to have some sort of dynamic signage (an LED display perhaps?) to signal when it really is going to get wet. It would ruin our fun though.

    • @Rufus odd you mentioned signs as there is one near me displaying traffic problems .
      I think they go by the name of ” mobile variable message signs” or some such name
      Ie name of the firm that makes them..they can be towed and placed in any suitable location .

    • twickerman

      The council installed high tide warning lights a few years ago, but had to abandon them because they were so unreliable. No doubt they were sued for misleading info that resulted in car flooding.
      The times aren’t exactly rocket science and tidetables and charts are readily availble at http://www.easytide.ukho.gov.uk

    • michelangelo

      not really relevant to the present discussion, but can you tell me why you have to use this word “signage” ? What is wrong with “signs”? Why invent another word? Like “standees” in buses – why not “standing”?
      Sorry to be a pedant!

    • michelangelo

      I know it is a real word. But what is the difference between “signage” and “signs”?

    • “Protect town or country from floods, says agency chief
      Too expensive to defend both urban and rural areas, says Lord Smith, as forecasters warn worse weather to come”
      says a headline in guardian

      Will we see a renaming of places before long ?
      Richmond Under Thames for example ?

    • Or Richmond IN Thames ?

    • Alexis

      Since we are into light hearted nitpicking, here is another little gem.
      At the start of para 5 of this story we have: “To solutionise other options…”! Was this really council speak or a bit of naughtiness on ed’s part?
      I actually thought that this leader about water was written by a guest editor since the style was somewhat different from the norm and jangled a bit.
      Collins on-line dictionary are equally unimpressed about this sort of silly bizz related newspeak and quote an example thus:
      “Until we go through the solutionising process we cannot be sure of the added complexity affecting the business process. We need to sit down perform a solutionisation workshop.”
      As a retiree, I am delighted that I will never again to have to suffer interminable meetings about mission statements, pointless jargon, “solutionising” and “signage” etc. What bliss!

    • @Alexis its management speak ..where I live
      in a pprivatised ” care home ” we are referred to as ‘ customers ‘. Begging the question what an earth am I ‘ buying ‘ ?

    • Anonymous

      What bliss indeed! About 20 years ago, when I worked for the British bit of a large US IT company, an American senior executive came across the pond for a meeting about a new product. At one point he said: “we need to solutionise this”. The whole meeting collapsed in a fit of laughter (we were a surprisingly unconventional lot). I don’t think he ever knew what he did wrong.

    • It *could* be argued that signs are the physical things with writing or symbols on them whereas “signage” is the word for the way those signs are arranged to convey information. Under this model you could have excellent signs but poor signage (i.e. clear graphics, no typos on the signs but the signs are in the wrong place / not visible)..

    • @twickerati. Well the word appears in wikipedia….so there must a be a reason its there ..or not…

  4. Simon Cassini

    very nicely put!
    what seems surprising is that there isn’t a flood management strategy in place already… Have they only just noticed we liver next to a bloody big river?

    • Simon Cassini

      and you have to love the comment at the bottom of the Council Consultation which basically says thanks for taking the time to put your ten pennyworth in but we probably wont actually do anything or take any action as a result. Plus ca change..

    • @simon cassini not so long ago a richmond friend of mine was having a chat by the river with a friend…after a while she looked down to see water lapping at her feet. The river had risen and flooded …
      There is also a youtube video showing someone in a boat rowing themselves to the white cross pub…the river was right up to the steps of the pub….

    • You must live close to river…Ive seen and taken photos to prove it…I think the clue is in the name Richmond Upon Thames…

  5. I like the writing style here although serious .issue .its very witty..keep it up…
    I liked the ref to Hammersmith and Fulham council. I think before long they will build a wall to keep out anyone who doesn’t own their own home…

  6. The Scout

    I think we should hold the Council to account on the dangers of flooding. It needs to work with the Environment agency – also it should be putting pressure on Thames Water to build more reservoires so we aren’t faced with water shortages (the cost should be borne by the water company and it’s investors, not through higher bills).

    On a national level we should be investigating better architecture – not just having our electric plugs at a higher level – but finding designers who are working on properties that can literally rise out of the water. We have one such company of designers in our Borough.

  7. Rufus McDufus

    Hydrogen, not helium!