Now the nights and the temperatures are drawing in it’s sadly time to start preparing for the winter months; and here in the Meon Valley, that means doing all we can to stop flooding. The warm summer days may have lulled some of us into believing that last year’s rainfall was just a bad dream, but for many still living with the effects, the issue is very much ongoing. So I’m pleased to report that Hampshire County Council is doing its best to try and alleviate some of the problems.
All along the A272, through villages like Bramdean and Kilmeston, the roadside ditches are being cleared to ensure that this main arterial road remains open. Culverts and pipes across the constituency are also being surveyed to pick up blockages and root damage in an attempt to nip potential problems in the bud. In addition, strimming and clearing vegetation from ditches is also under way. In Cheriton, the Environment Agency has looked at all of the gulleys and ditches and has surveyed bridges to ensure that water can flow as quickly as possible, if the heavens do open again.
At Finchdean, the main drainage culvert through the village has had a CCTV camera passed through to pick up any damage. Flint and gravel deposits are being cleared from ditches and bridges there too. In Hambledon, where the flooding was worst, ditches and pipes are being cleared and checked. There has also been some engineering works going on but these are not centred on the main pipe, which is still waiting for funding approval. An announcement about funding for the pipe should be soon and I continue to press all those concerned to ensure that the cash is found. This work is absolutely vital if Hambledon is avoid the misery of last year in the years to come.
The measures above will most certainly help but I very much hope the rainfall levels in the coming months do not match those of last winter.