Layla Moran MP for Oxford West and Abingdon spoke in the House of Commons on Wednesday 24 February on the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme.
Her speech and the reply of Rebecca Pow MP, the Under Secretary of State for the Environment is here
Here is an excerpt of Layla Moran’s speech:
The village (South Hinksey) remains concerned about the impact of the Oxford scheme on the A34 and local roads. Once it starts, the current plan is for there to be pollution and traffic for four years. The residents have ideas about how to make that better, and it is after all in their interests that the scheme is done as quickly as possible, but with minimal impact. They feel that often they have not been heard by the Highways Agency or the Environment Agency on these matters. Can the Minister help me to bring together the Environment Agency, Highways England, local councils, local councillors and the community to ensure that we solve this problem together?
Finally on this issue, is the Minister aware of the environmental concerns that have come up with the scheme, such as the damage that will be done to Hinksey meadows and the loss of hundreds of trees and much habitat in the medium term? I think the scheme should go ahead—do not get me wrong—and in the very long term, there is a great opportunity to increase biodiversity, but it should not be a matter of taking with one hand and giving with the other. We need to do much more to help protect precious habitat and wildlife now.