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Last Updated: Monday, 19 November 2007, 13:01 GMT
Utilities 'must share flood plan'
Tewkesbury during the floods
Tewkesbury was badly flooded in summer
Gloucestershire's utility providers must share their flood contingency plans, a report has recommended.

The inquiry by the county council's scrutiny committee into the handling of the summer crisis also said one body should be responsible for watercourses.

Emergency services, local authorities, utilities and flood victims contributed to the investigation.

Chairman Rob Garnham said it was important to address "single points of failure" like the loss of mains water.

"We lost the Mythe water works, we very nearly lost Walham (power station) and the electricity. The utilities must share their contingency plans," he said.

[Severn Trent] has recognised Mythe as single point of failure and are looking at a second source of piped water
Councillor Rob Garnham, inquiry chairman

"We must ensure we get action from all the agencies to make sure this doesn't happen again.

"Don't forget we had two disasters, we had the flooding and the water shortage.

"We need one agency to take control of this. I'm a councillor and I sometimes have trouble finding out who is responsible."

Other key recommendations in the 150-page document are that the government should set up a single agency responsible for water courses.

It also calls on the National Grid to invest in more permanent flood defences around its sites to stop power being lost.

"Seven Trent [will] let us see their business plans when they're published," Mr Garnham said.

"More importantly, they've recognised Mythe as single point of failure and are looking at a second source of piped water."

A statement from National Grid said: "We acted quickly following the unprecedented floods that threatened our Walham substation in July, building a sturdy medium term flood barrier that will last several years.

"This will give us the time to work with everyone concerned - government, the Environment Agency, our regulator Ofgem and others - to look at the right long-term response to the astonishing events of the summer."

SEE ALSO
Homes to get flood action plans
16 Nov 07 |  Gloucestershire
Enormity of flood damage revealed
19 Aug 07 |  Gloucestershire
Water treatment works repaired
29 Jul 07 |  Gloucestershire

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