THE dredging and de-silting of two rivers in Tewksbury to help reduce the risk of flooding has been welcomed by Gloucestershire County Council.

The work to remove silt from two places in the River Swilgate and Carrant Brook will help move water through the area faster and reduce the risk of flooding.

The areas have been selected following a report from the Severn and Avon Valley Combined Flood Group, with the de-silting being carried out and funded by the Environment Agency.

Councillor Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways and flood, said: "I’m extremely pleased the Environment Agency has agreed to carry out this dredging work in Tewkesbury.

"Local flood groups and volunteers have worked together closely to identify areas where it can make the most difference “This work is an important step forward to help cut the risk of flooding, protecting homes and businesses in the future.”

Anthony Perry, Area Flood Risk Manager at the Environment Agency, said: “I am glad we are able to work with local groups to identify these areas where dredging will reduce the risk of flooding and improve the flow of water away from here as quickly as possible.

"This work will be carried out alongside the £4million programme maintaining and repairing flood risk management assets damaged during the winter floods in Gloucestershire, to restore them to their full effectiveness.”

On the River Swilgate, the de-silting will be carried out to help protect local properties as well as the A38 from flooding, and is alongside work already taking place at the weir to help improve the fish passage.

The second area to benefit is the Carrant Brook, upstream of the Bredon road bridge.

Since 2007, the county council has spent £48 million on flood work. Several hundred homes have benefited from work carried out in partnership with the Environment Agency and local councils.