Responding to a flood

What the City Council does

Manages ditches and streams

In partnership with ODS we maintain watercourses where we have 'riparian responsibility' from adjacent land ownership. The work includes clearing vegetation from banks, removing silt from channels and keeping grills clear where watercourses enter culverts.

We can also ensure that similar work is done by other landowners or act as agent for the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA), which is Oxfordshire County Council.

Responds to floods

Once alerted to a potential flood by the Environment Agency, the City Council works with Oxford Direct Services to monitor water levels several times a day and assess whether and when to deploy flood defences.

When it floods, we work with the Police, Fire & Rescue, Oxfordshire County Council, the Environment Agency and other partners to:

  • Contact vulnerable people and make sure they are safe
  • Help evacuate people from flooded areas
  • Close flooded roads and bridges and put diversions in place
  • Clear blocked drains on the roads
  • Support communities and local businesses
  • Provide regular updates on the situation on our website and social media channels

Investigates floods and records flood assets 

We investigate flood events and record useful flood defence features in Oxford then send reports to the LLFA for the Oxfordshire flooding database.

Flood protection schemes 

We look for and assess possible flood defence schemes, seek funding to support them. We carry out many schemes with Oxford Area Flood Partnership (OAFP) partners, whom are listed on the OAFP page.

Oxford Area Flood Partnership (OAFP) 

The City Council arranges and chairs quarterly meetings of OAFP, through which flood management projects are co-ordinated between the six partners.

Members of the public and representatives of several flood-interest groups attend these meetings and we hold a Public Forum in October each year.

For more, see our OAFP page.