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Meeting aims to allay Jubilee River flood fear

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BERKSHIRE RESIDENTS are to meet with the Environment Agency later this month to hear the Agency's plans for operating the flawed £110M Jubilee River flood channel this winter.

At the meeting Agency officials are expected to confirm whether they will press the channel into operating beyond its 'safe' capacity as proposed by consultant Atkins.

'We are really scared at what might happen this winter and the closer to winter we get, the more worried we get, ' said Gillie Bolton, spokesman for residents group Community Support Group (South).

Atkins' proposal is included in its critical review of the design and construction of the channel published last month (NCE 19/26 August).

The report concludes that the channel and the Thames can together convey just 325m 3/s, 63% of the original design specification.

This is when operating as planned with a 300mm safety factor.

But it adds that flows can be raised to 415m 3/s if operatives stand on the banks watching for overtopping or bank erosion.

Residents are alarmed at this proposal and have sought urgent clarification from the Environment Agency.

CSG(S) has put its concerns to the Agency through the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council and it too is losing patience.

'There are at least 12 questions that we have put to the EA and we are urgently awaiting a response, ' said cabinet leader Mary-Rose Gliksten.

The Agency said that it is for the council to fix a date for the meeting.

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