FLOOD defence work cannot come soon enough for a group of residents in St Neots who again just had to hope the flood water did not reach their homes. Water overflowing from the River Great Ouse flooded across The Paddock, which is next to Riverside Park, and came within a few feet of the properties. The Environment Agency has said work is expected to start in the Paddock in 2009 and would include an embankment, flood gates and the raising of Crosshall Road. The scheme is expected to cost about £2million but is yet to be given planning permission by Huntingdonshire District Council. However, as heavy rain last week led to flooding, St Neots town councillor and Paddock resident, Jennifer Bird, pictured outside her home, told The Hunts Post, the improvements cannot come soon enough.