RICHARD Benyon MP visited a flood relief site a decade after a community was torn apart.

The stalwart political leader for Newbury teamed up with West Berkshire and Thatcham councillors at the Flood Alleviation site at Tull Way on Wednesday, August 9.

West Berkshire Council (WBC) and the Environment Agency (EA) completed the Surface Water Management Plan for Thatcham (SWMP) in 2010 in conjunction with Thames Water following the floods of 2007.

Jeanette Clifford, WBC's executive member for Highways and Transport, said: "A great deal has been achieved in Thatcham since the terrible floods in 2007 and we have worked tirelessly with our partners to provide the best possible protection against future floods."

The SWMP introduced a series of detention basins or reservoirs designed to store flood water and then release it at a controlled rate into the surface water sewers under Thatcham to prevent them becoming overwhelmed.

Iain Dunn, Thatcham Flood Forum, added: “We are delighted with the response to our fundraising efforts to support these important flood defences.

"We continue to work closely with WBC to raise money to ensure the flood defence projects go ahead.

“We are extremely grateful to all the local organisations and individuals who raised the £122k.

"Without these important local funds we simply would not have the £4 million so desperately needed to complete Thatcham’s flood protection scheme by late 2018."

"The wonderful support of those donors demonstrated the broad community support the EA needed to consider funding completion of the town's major flood defences."