From one extreme to the other: are floods and droughts the new normal?

A consortium of South Oxfordshire Sustainability groups (SOS) is organising a free Public Talk and discussion on Tuesday 26th at 7pm in the Cholsey Pavilion, Station Road, Cholsey OX10 9PT

Jamie Hannaford, Leader of the Hydrological Status & Reporting Group, NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford. This will be followed by a discussion with an invited panel, including representatives from Oxfordshire County Council.

Refreshments including wine and hot drinks will be available and donations towards costs will be welcome.

The meeting is organised by SOS (South Oxfordshire Sustainability), the consortium of South Oxfordshire community groups. Achievements and current projects from the member groups will be on display.

BACKGROUND

SOS was created two years ago to bring together local community groups and to use their combined weight to influence SODC and OCC to move environmental issues and sustainability higher up their agendas. SOS has four sub-groups.

Water group: Organised a large scale meeting on flooding at the Henley Rowing Museum last year,attended by many of Britain’s top hydrologists. Has dialogued with SODC and Thames Water about how best to encourage less use of water in new housing developments.

Waste Group: plans to present proposals for projects/initiatives to discuss with Oxfordshire Waste Partnership aimed at reducing waste and reuse of materials and not just focus on increasing recycling. A visit for SOS members to the anaerobic digester beside Benson Airfield is being planned.

Food Group: is joining with the Earth Trust to develop a possible policy to promote the growth and consumption of local food in South Oxfordshire. Funding for this is being sought. Oxford has successfully completed such a study and it is hoped that this can form a basis for a South Oxfordshire Study. An Allotment Survey of all Parish and Town Councils in South Oxfordshire is underway.

Planning Group: is in dialogue with SODC to raise the level of sustainable features in large scale new housing developments and to encourage SODC to engage in active and meaningful public consultation that will be pursued, and acted on by them, from start to finish of any large scale housing development in the district. SOS is also actively involved in a Focus Group set up by SODC to input outline planning proposals being elaborated by developers Berkeley Homes and Prupim for the 550 new houses to be built in Wallingford over the next few years.

For more information contact John Gordon (01491 652243) or Alison Smart (01491 836086)