Save Northmoor Weir Campaign
On Monday March 8th 2010, the village of Appleton in Oxfordshire began to ask some very serious questions of the Environment Agency (EA). These questions were about the EA's plans to replace the paddle and rymer weir at Northmoor with a fully mechanised concrete and metal structure costing circa. £3,000,000
The EA made claims that the work was necessary under Health & Saftey regulations and flood management criteria.
Not only is the Weir Campaign Team convinced that both these grounds are severely flawed but they are also concerned about the loss of our national river heritage and that the EA are being less than honest in their dealings with the residents of Appleton and the surrounding area.
If you enjoy the River Thames, including her locks, cottages, weirs and outstanding natural beauty please support us. Even if you don't enjoy the Thames, but don't agree with corporate bullying, or the reckless and inappropriate spending of public money, please sign this petition to get the EA work halted!
Please click on the link below to see photos of Northmoor Weir in September 2011
I think this youtube clip proves a point!
If you need a little more detail before you sign, please read on:
- The EA have stated that the computer aided mechanical structure will give them greater control of the water levels by allowing them to respond more rapidly. This we dispute.
- Whilst 'allegedly' giving them greater control of the river water, they have admitted that the new structure will make little or no difference to flood protection.
- £3,000,000 could, and would, have a far greater impact on flood defence if it was spent where it was needed, protecting homes and businesses in Oxfordshire for which there is currently little or no funding, rather than spending it on a project which will have little or no impact whatsoever.
- This unnecessary spend of £3,000,000 does NOT represent good use of taxpayers' money in an era of recession and government cuts.
- Unlike some of the paddle and rymer weirs which are being replaced, the weir at Northmoor is structurally sound, having been extensively refurbished in 1995 with a replica weir and given a working life of approximately 60 years.
- In August 2010 the EA made an offer to investigate the possibility of setting up a Trust to run the weir. This offer was subsequently withdrawn but highlights the fact that even then they knew that the replacement wasn't necessary
The EA's website states that 'The weir improvement programme is being funded by the Levy budget. This is a budget agreed and raised on an annual basis by members of the Thames Flood Defence Committee.'
- Documentation to supprt the EA's Health and Safety argument uses EXAGGERATED CLAIMS regarding the damaging effects of the forces required to operate the weir manually.
- Alternatives to a full rebuild which might have assisted in the manual operation of the weir, should that be deemed necessary under H&S, were not properly costed.
- The 1995 refurbishment came under the same H&S legislation.
The need for the replacement is being argued by the EA on the ground of Health & Safety:
The EA are placing no value on our local and national river heritage:
- Paddle and rhymer weirs are, we believe, unique to the River Thames.
- Until the EA started their replacement programme a couple of years ago there were 9 paddle and rymer weirs of various sizes on the Thames. 4 have already gone and the EA plans to replace the remaining 5 within the next 2 years.
- The paddle and rymer weir at Northmoor is one of only 2 full span weirs, the other being at Rushey which is also due for replacement. The remaining weirs at Iffley and Goring and Streatley, also to be replaced, are tiny in comparison.
- The paddle and rymer weir at Northmoor is unique in that the keepers cottage, lock and weir were constructed as a station. The lock and cottage are the original structures, with only slight modifications to the cottage, and the weir refurbishment in 1995 was sympathetic, incorporating some of the original structures.
- Northmoor station is unique in that it is the only station with an uninterrupted view of the weir, cottage and lock, be that from boats on the river, walking along the Thames Path, or from the campsite in the adjacent paddocks.
- This unique site is part of our national industrial river heritage which, if the EA have their way, will be lost for ever!
The EA has NOT properly assessed the impact of the work on the Parish over the 2 years it will take to carry out the replacement in terms of traffic, health & safety to residents or the damage to businesses. They are effectively bullying the local community.
Please support the campaign to SAVE NORTHMOOR PADDLE AND RHYMER WEIR
For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To make every name count, please do not sign as a couple - enter each name separately. Thank you