Posted by: westlancashirerecord | July 8, 2016

West Lancashire Flooding Forum

Apparently we residents who rely on public services we pay for will be obliged to become a modern “Dads Army” to mitigate local effects of the failures of providers. Rosie Cooper MP seen here rosieforum [click to enlarge] last evening chaired the West Lancashire Flooding Forum, a meeting between residents and the authorities to discuss flooding issues. 40 or so residents attended the meeting, including contingents from Halsall, Burscough, Skelmersdale, and Parbold, and as Rosie said “It was an impressive number of residents showing the strength of feeling amongst the community”.

Rosie declared “the devastating floods on Boxing Day and recent flash floods have once again highlighted the need for action to deal with flooding”. She told us about these floods recurring now, but there is no-one with practical help, no understanding of what suffering from floods is about. She spoke of needs to improve drainage systems and about the effects of new developments that cause flooding. As she reminded us, flooding events that were one year in a hundred became one year in 30 and now it seemed they were coming fortnightly.

Having met a “flood minister” and asked him who is in charge Rosie told us “Lancashire is the lead strategic authority” and what followed gave us the distinct impression we should not be impressed by this particular minister. Rosie had discussed the forthcoming Yew Tree Farm development with the minister.

We were treated to a hapless presentation of the highly profitable but under-investing United Utilities company in which we heard of a sewer system unable to cope with extreme events that now occurred regularly, that developers have the legal right to connect to UU systems, and, wait for it, “OFWAT is capping price increases” so UU can’t increase our bills to pay for extra investment. But it seems a warning given in 2005 that there WAS insufficient capacity so do NOT build in such places as YTF has gone unheeded and who introduced and approved the Local Plan that now includes them?

Strangely enough, while residents told us about letters they had from UU about “five year capital investment plans” that haven’t come to fruition, shareholders in UU receive the dividends awarded from this very private public service every year, no waiting for them! No floods in their homes, no emergency sandbags, no insurance under £1,500-£2,000 or no insurance at all due to incessant events! Bring on the re-nationalisation of water and drainage? Until then go out and clear blocked gullies near your homes because nobody will be coming any time soon to do it! Dad’s Army, get fell in!


  1. Never mind hot air, MP Cooper- DO SOMETHING.

    • To be fair to Rosie Cooper she has no authority whatsoever to stop flooding, to provide sandbags, to compensate flood victims, to provide insurance, to control United Utilities, or to harness the facilities of Lancashire County Council or West Lancashire Borough Council. She is a facilitator, or tries to be. What can and should happen is for the council tax we pay to be used to provide supplies of flood defences. Having been told at the Flooding Forum that there was nobody from West Lancashire Borough Council available to move stocks of sandbags from wherever they are stored to where the floods occurred seems utterly unacceptable. To be told they were only for use of Council Tenants was even worse. The emergency services, especially the Fire Service, are expected to pump flood water away to where? Down the road to flood other properties? The answer must be prevention, and I can only refer once again to what this borough council throws away year in year out in conservation grants for private homes, no means testing, paid in secret, budgeting £20/30,000 a year for new windows, doors, and or gardens. How many sandbags could be bought with that council tax and stored at strategic areas liable to be flooded?

  2. I often read, with envy, of other MPs who achieve a lot, fight causes etc, and reflect with sadness how we have an MP who generally sits on fences, “ensures residents voices are heard” yada yada yada. What a great pay packet and expenses package for doing…what exactly? She talked about flooding years ago. How many folk have endured flooding misery since? With regard to a recent article on Legacies-I wonder what hers will be. Hot air, splinters and claiming crisps on expenses?

  3. invited guests from UU, EA, WLBC and LCC were put through the ringer VERY PUBLICLY. There is no joined up approach to flooding as every department or aurthority is far too interested in their own budgets and responsonsabilities (and shareholders!) rather than working together in unison for the greater good of the area involved. Rosie is the only person prepared to go to war against these bodies to bash heads together and get a joined up approach which is very much needed

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