06:00PM, Friday 15 January 2021
Councillors discussed issues around Black Potts Weir on the Jubilee River at a council Flood Liason meeting on Wednesday night.
A representative from the Environment Agency (EA) gave an update on the status of the weir, which was due to have repair works finished in December – but this date has been pushed back to March.
The group were told that updates were forthcoming and the EA has yet to finalise its designs for repairs.
Chair of the meeting Councillor David Cannon (Con, Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury) raised concerns about the effect that operating the weir is having on boat owners.
When active, the weir passes water down into Datchet and Wraysbury. The many boat owners there have reported that activating it at the end of the day causes water to rise overnight.
“Unfortunately boat owners, who have no knowledge of the operation of the weir, find in the morning that their boats are not able to be moved properly or they can’t get to them,” Cllr Cannon said.
He asked the EA representative Brianne Vally if it would be possible to either operate the weir in the morning only or make sure that Wraysbury boat-owners are given prior notice of its activation.
Ms Vally said it would not be possible to guarantee morning-only operation but suggested that boat owners sign up to Maidenhead flood alerts, which include updates on when the weir is active.
Cllr Ian Thompson of Datchet Parish Council raised a number of issues relating to the weir, including the structural integrity of the East bank.
“That was built up after the last flood in 2014. Since then it has eroded away and it’s very shallow now,” he said.
He added that the level boards upstream of the weir have now washed or rotted away and need replacing.
Cllr Thompson also highlighted the problems caused by having different units of measure for flood levels between the Jubilee River below Black Potts and the Windsor Park gauge.
“Commonality of measurements would be extremely helpful when we have a flood,” he said. “We can advise boat owners and can give better predictions of water coming down the Jubilee River.”
Ms Vally said the EA would look into all the issues raised.
Parish councillors also voiced concerns around recent flooding for the attention of the Royal Borough, including Cllr Malcolm Beer, who represents the parish of Old Windsor.
There has been an issue in Straight Road, near the post office, with water entering a store.
“It’s desperate that something is done about that because when we have high rainfall, water will invade the shop,” Cllr Beer said.
“I would really like not to see the borough hung out to dry because it didn’t do the drying job earlier.”