'It cannot happen again': MP vows to ensure flood prevention is realised

Jon Cruddas MP

Jon Cruddas held the second Flood Action Rainham group - Credit: Richard Townshend Photography - Official Parliamentary Portrait

Rainham's MP is calling for agencies to come together to tackle persistent floods in the area.

Last month, around 40mm (1.5 inches) of rain fell in an hour on June 25, the highest amount in the borough since 2016 according to Havering Council, and it caused serious flooding in parts of the borough.

Jon Cruddas, MP for Dagenham and Rainham, held the second meeting of the Flood Action Rainham group on June 23.

He explained: "The importance of bringing the council and other agencies together to work to reduce flood risk and protect families has become even more clear following the floods that affected so many parts of Havering at the end of June."

The action group brought together senior staff from Havering Council, Thames Water, the Environment Agency and Network Rail to discuss what has been and needs to be done to prevent another recurrence of the floods that affected many families across Rainham village.

Mr Cruddas said: "I am pleased that this initiative has brought together all of the organisations that have vital parts to play in protecting people and their homes in Rainham.

"There is now a clear focus, what I now want to see is a detailed action plan and then its implementation."

The MP said the group heard several developments have taken place since its initial meeting on March 8.

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For example, Thames Water and Havering Council are proactively clearing road gullies and drains ahead of severe weather warnings in higher risk flood areas, he said.

The Environment Agency and the council have piloted a different approach to managing water levels on Rainham Marshes, which is designed to take some pressure off watercourses through Rainham.

Thames Water has also installed depth meters in the drainage system which raise alerts when water levels are rising.

Additionally, Havering Council is due to produce its report and conclusions from the August 2020 flood.

Mr Cruddas added: "I am committed to making sure that these actions are delivered to prevent the awful disruption and distress that so many families suffered in the last 12 months.

"Some families have only moved back to their homes in the last four weeks from the August 2020 flood.

"This must not be allowed to happen again.”