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Hospital bosses are accused of ignoring Tewkesbury flood warnings

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: December 31, 2013

WARNING: Former Tewkesbury town mayor Chuck Pavey. Right and below, fields surrounding the town under water

WARNING: Former Tewkesbury town mayor Chuck Pavey. Right and below, fields surrounding the town under water

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HOSPITAL bosses in Tewkesbury have been accused of ignoring warnings about flooding.

Annual winter floods have led to the rear car park of the town's new hospital being under water in recent days.

It led to the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at the £10 million facility being closed for three days over Christmas.

Town councillor Chuck Pavey said it appeared his worst fears had been realised.

In May 2012, he publicly voiced his concern that, unless the correct engineering work was carried out in the Howells Road area, the new hospital's rear car park would often flood.

He was photographed by the Echo at the site as floodwater had effectively sealed off the rear entrance.

Now the site has flooded again as he said it would and he said he could not understand why more preventative work had not been carried out.

He said: "They're taking away stuff from the demolition of the old hospital at the moment. They could have used that to fill that area in.

"It would have created a massive flat area for parking."

The former town mayor said flood compensation work had been possible off Mythe Road and so surely it could be replicated in the town centre.

Yesterday, as the Environment Agency said flood levels in Tewkesbury were dropping, the car park was still under water but the MIU was open.

Pedestrians were being diverted to Barton Mews, a short distance from the old hospital entrance, to walk to the main doors of the new hospital.

Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, which owns and manages the hospital, denied that it had ignored warnings about the flooding situation.

Richard Ziebart, its estates adviser, said: "The design of the new hospital takes the probability of flooding into account, and we have always known that the lower level car park will flood on occasions.

"We worked extensively with the Environment Agency throughout the planning and design process to ensure the new building does not affect the natural flood plain but remains dry in times of flooding.

"With this in mind, the new building has been raised by nearly one metre above the highest flood levels previously recorded.

"The drainage system has also been repositioned so that it feeds away to the Barton Street side of the hospital, rather than Howells Road as previously."

He added that contractors were working to create further car parking at the site and a new entrance route from Barton Street.

The work is expected to be completed by Easter. Temporary vehicle access from Howells Road to the hospital's main entrance is due to be completed before then.

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6 comments

  • dontyaknow  |  January 01 2014, 5:40PM

    Agree with A_Voter - and once the site is complete access will be again possible from Barton Road which is unlikely to flood. Tewkesbury will finally have some modern healthcare facilities and it seems some people are quick to moan - just look at them on Facebook. Also agree that the Town Council should sort themselves out or have a collective resignation.

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  • stuartadairuk  |  January 01 2014, 8:32AM

    I'm not sure how constructive it is to say, "I told you so!" and even less sure what Cllr. Pavey hopes to achieve by this article - A distraction technique is believable. I would suggest that his time would be far better spent on improving the current situation within TTC. Why not start with improving the Tendering Process and presenting all the facts for 'Grants' to his colleagues as these are areas he specialises in.

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  • LAwatch  |  December 31 2013, 5:58PM

    Cllr Pavey is under some scrutiny at the Town Hall for questionable conformance to Council procedures, could this be a distraction tactic?

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  • Danw2404  |  December 31 2013, 4:50PM

    You know it's serious when there is a picture of someone with their arms crossed!

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  • A_VOTER  |  December 31 2013, 3:02PM

    It always surprises me just how quickly the prophets of doom come elbowing to the camera given the first opportunity. Until the whole complex, Hospital and Surgery, is built with all car-parks and access points in place we shouldn't rush to judge in my view. However, having visited the Hospital I'm delighted and I can't wait for the new Surgery block to be up and running, so convenient! Being congratulatory isn't so camera friendly perhaps but Cllr Pavey might try it sometime? Meanwhile perhaps he could concentrate on helping the current Mayor sort out Tewkesbury Town Council's appalling administrative and financial problems, something he failed, it seems, to do when Mayor himself.

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  • HenryInside  |  December 31 2013, 12:31PM

    Environment Agency Whistleblower Blog: http://tinyurl.com/o6y5w5r

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