Representatives from a number of villages in Hampshire that had been badly flooded met in the Quality Hotel, Andover at a meeting convened by the Environment Agency. Peter Quarmby, Area Manager Hampshire and Isle of Wight, fielded most of the questions, assisted by officers from the County Council and Southern Water.
"I was pleased that this meeting was held, as it enabled constituents to express their frustration at the apparent lack of progress since last winter; and it enabled the Environment Agency to explain the constraints which they face - principally financial."
"At the meeting, I promised I would write to DEFRA Ministers about money for "enmainment" - the extension of Environment Agency responsibility for rivers. This would help in Upton and Vernham Dean."
Extract from letter from Environment Agency to Sir George, convening the meeting:
Following on from a series of Community Catchment Liaison Meetings held in the past year throughout the Hampshire area, a review meeting was held in June 2003. At this meeting it was decided that a new series should be undertaken during the coming year.
The Hampshire Flood Steering Group is to hold a community catchment liaison meeting for the Upper Test catchment on the 23rd September 2003 at The Quality Hotel, Andover, Hampshire from 19:00 - 21:00. The Hampshire Flood Steering Group is made up of members from the Environment Agency, county council, district councils, Southern Water and Hampshire Association of Town and Parish Councils.
Community Catchment Liaison Meetings are to encourage local involvement, and will give an opportunity for the residents of villages affected to hear about recent works completed and proposed work by some of the authorities in the local area. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions to officers of the authorities, during a surgery style session. The meetings will also ensure that residents and interested parties have an opportunity to hear about the progress made of actions, which were recommended following the flooding of 2000-2001.