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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 November 2007, 12:03 GMT
Anger over no-dredge river plan
River Twyver
The River Twyer is one of the watercourses being looked at
There are no plans to dredge streams running through Gloucester after floods, the Environment Agency said.

The decision to hold back on dredging reflects the agency's view that a bigger problem is the lack of capacity in many of the culverts.

Instead a clean-up operation is under way on the city's main watercourses.

The announcement has infuriated some flood victims, who, while welcoming the current clean-up, said silt has been the main problem.

"I asked [the Environment Agency workers] 'are you clearing the silt' and they said no which I think is quite monstrous because houses are being flooded over and over again, some six times, some eight times in the last seven years," said landowner John Rhodes.

Solutions identified

Mr Rhodes said he approached the Environment Agency to clear the watercourse to reduce further flooding.

"The culvert has never been given a chance to run at its capacity because of this blockage which was identified in 1991 as the highest priority for clearance in the whole city," he said.

The Environment Agency has defended its decision not to dredge the silt saying it would not have the effect Mr Rhodes claimed.

"There are isolated pockets of silt along the whole section but removing that silt is not going to have any benefit because it is self-cleansing and we have to recognise our watercourses have to be sustainable," said Anthony Perry from the agency.

Widened culverts

The sweep of watercourses in Gloucester began last week covering Wooton Brook, Daniels Brook, Sudbrook, Horsebear Brook, and the River Twyver.

Fallen trees are being cleared and overgrown vegetation is being cut back.

On the Horsebear Brook in the Longlevens area the agency is installing a new flood defence bank and widening the river banks in places.

It is studying the problem and when the new capital programme is published it is likely to include a range of solutions - such as widening culverts, building storage tanks, as well as a certain amount of dredging.



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The clean-up begins



SEE ALSO
Clear-up work for city river bank
28 Oct 07 |  Gloucestershire

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