PEOPLE in Tenbury will get a chance to shape a solution to the flood risk that hangs over the town.

A decade after major floods brought havoc to the town centre and closed businesses for many months, no proper flood defences have been put in place.

In some cases businesses were so badly hit that they were forced to shut down for good.

For many, the fear is that time could be running out.

Mark Willis, Mayor of Tenbury has said that it is only a matter of time before the town is hit by another flood.

Harriett Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire that includes Tenbury has seen flood defences provided in others towns that she represents but Tenbury has remained undefended.

She has pledged to try to find a solution but the core of the problem remains a lack of money.

According to the Environment Agency, a government edict has determined that the benefits from a flood defence scheme that would cost more than £5 cannot be justified.

Engineers have ruled out arm’s length solutions such as creating a flood storage area upstream on Tenbury or deepening the River Teme so it can carry more water.

These solutions would not work and the only solution would be a flood wall around much of the town.

People have been told that shorter stretches of flood walls and banks would risk just directing flood water to another part of the town.

But Mark Willis believes that some minor improvements have been made.

“In 2007 we saw flooding due to the levels of both the River Teme and Kyre Brook,” he said.

“In addition, though, flash flooding by itself caused much devastation.

“Since 2007 there have been improvements to alleviate flash flooding, two examples being the improvement to drainage in the Bog Lane area and the wall alongside Kyre Brook in Market Street.

“As regards the River Teme the construction of the Tesco development has afforded some further protection.

“But as regards hard, permanent defences the provision always come down to cost.

“Following some recent meetings with the Environment Agency they are revisiting this issue and looking at what the options are and what funding can be obtained.

“The National Flood Forum has been approached and they are going to encourage anyone affected by flooding to form a Flood Action Group.”

Now this has come to fruition and an attempt will be made to form a Flood Action Group at a meeting that has been called for 6pm on Wednesday, September 6 at The Pump Rooms.

Harriett Baldwin MP believes that there is an opportunity for progress.

“Now that Tesco has been built, I hope that the town council and the Environment Agency can make progress on building some bunding for the town and alongside that, we must also invest in the important work to keep local streams and brooks, including the Kyre Brook, free from obstruction,” she said.

“I have always supported a town council-led stage-by-stage approach to deliver individual projects to help reduce the impact when the next flood happens. I will continue to give that approach my full backing."