FAMILIES in Rayleigh are demanding more money is put towards preventing flooding in their town after the news that Hockley will be getting £1.8 million to protect it.

Members of Rawreth Flood action group are angry at the news Hockley are receiving so much money from Essex County Council to help improve drainage and prevent flooding as they feel the money should be shared out with the whole district.

Peter Plummer, chairman of Rawreth Flood Action Group, says Rayleigh has a much worse problem with flooding and has done for 13 years.

He said Rayleigh has flooded 26 times and feels inadequate measures have been put in place to help the town and that it has been made worse by developments being built on flood plains.

Mr Plummer, speaking on behalf of the residents in the group, said: “When Hockley flooded so did Laburnum Way, Rawreth and Hulbridge. Rawreth never historically flooded until the a130 road was built but we get flooded most years, sometimes five times in one year.

“Hullbridge floods an average five times every year and one year flooded for three months nonstop. We feel that the £1.8 million should have been shared out to help all.”

Essex County Council is responsible for handing out the money and has determined the order in which these major flood protection works shall be undertaken.

Keith Hudson, vice chairman for the Surface Water Flooding Forum, said: “It is understood that the county council uses a detailed formula to determine the most cost / benefit outcome for the funds that they have available to them.”

He explained that Rochford District Council has commissioned a consulting engineer to analyse possible projects that can be brought forward to help to resolve the flooding previously experienced in and around Rawreth Village.

Mr Hudson added: “Further funding towards these projects will be forthcoming from the Section 106 agreement associated with the recent planning approval for a new housing development in the West of Rayleigh."

Roger Hirst, Chairman of the Essex Flood Partnership Board and Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Environment, said: “Essex Flood Partnership Board uses a prioritisation matrix to ensure funding is distributed where it will be most beneficial to residents. We currently have a number of schemes which we aim to priority fund as part of a £19 million five-year capital programme.

“In addition Partnership Grants and Property Level Protection Grants are now available to provide assistance to partners and residents who have suffered from flooding in Essex to help them to become more resilient and resistant to future flooding. For more information please visit www.essex.gov.uk/flooding.”