Here’s a question for all you council tax payers who think your taxes should give you basic services that provide health and wellbeing. Are you receiving what you pay for? Residents of Burscough have ongoing flood issues, including regurgitation of raw sewage into their homes and gardens . They can claim with much justification that WLBC, the Environment Agency, and United Utilities are probably to blame for the lack of modern standards of such essential services. The residents are NOT receiving services they pay for.

Some residents formed the Burscough Residents Flooding Group to collect information on residents’ issues over flooding events to collate a report to the Parish Council. They research and prove dereliction of duty by the statutory bodies. Persistence is their forte, with determination to obtain improvement in this most foul of living standards imaginable .

But they are thwarted by denial of liability from, of all people, WLBC. So much so that WLBC accuses BFG members “Since 2005 several members of BFG have been in a protracted exchange of correspondence with several council officers regarding drainage matters in and around Burscough”. And “It was the Council’s view that a request made on behalf of BFG through Rosie Cooper MP on 27th October 2017 was vexacious”. And here, dear readers, you might ponder on 12 years of crap floating up and around homes and gardens, and BFG did not exist in 2005 !

WLBC claims “The Council and BFG do not share a common view on many of the issues raised…the request is vexacious or manifestly unreasonable…BFG have taken an unreasonably entrenched position…previous voluminous amounts of correspondence have caused a disproportionate level of disruption to the Council. That’s probably proportionate to the levels of crap Burscough taxpayers have found in their homes and gardens since 2005?

WLBC claims…”The collective amount of requests has been too burdensome to be dealt with, such that they would disrupt the Council’s ability to perform its other functions…the totality of the requests has been an improper use of the formal procedure which the FOIA and/or EIR allows for…BFG are unreasonably persistent on matters which the Council feels it has already comprehensively addressed…the Council needs to be protected from the disproportionate burden and unjustified level of irritation in handling the voluminous requests BFG has issued”. Don’t taxpayers need to be protected from the burden and unjustified levels of raw crap entering their homes and gardens ?

Perhaps the most impertinent observation by WLBC is reserved until last…”The strain on resources in dealing with the numerous requests has placed a strain on resources and has frustrated the Council in delivering its mainstream services”. This sentence is, like the other observations listed here, verbatim. Teacher might conclude the student “Could do better” in use of repetition?

None of which helps Burscough and its residents to fight the scourge of sewage systems straight out of Victoriana. As with most disputes, mediation is needed, but is not on offer. It’s time it was, because the questions remain, are scarce resources being misused and by whom, and a 12 year dispute is a disgrace!

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