THE ENVIRONMENT Agency has agreed to de-silt local river pinch points following a special request from Gloucestershire County Council (GCC).

On Friday (February 7) Cllr Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways and flooding, met with MP Laurence Robertson and representatives from the agency to agree on what more could be done to alleviate flooding from rivers.

As a result, over the next month GCC will work with the agency to find projects which can contribute to action on the ground.

They are likely to target pinch-points, such as inadequate culverts, blockages and de-silting works.

A second strand will look at the behaviour of floodwater on the River Severn and its floodplain between Tewkesbury and Gloucester, and again see what simple actions would get water into the estuary faster, and keep water levels down at Tewkesbury.

Cllr Smith said he had been pushing to protect Gloucestershire homes since he was elected.

“This deal means that de-silting and other measures to cut the risk of flooding will now take place on those rivers,” he said.

“This is a great step forward, which will make a real difference in stopping Gloucestershire homes and businesses flooding in future.”

Gloucestershire County Council has put £48 million into flood protection since 2007.

MP Laurence Robertson and Cllr Smith will meet the Secretary of State for Environment, Owen Patterson, to put forward Gloucestershire’s case for investment.