A statement about Burscough having benefited from its developments is challenged in Champion letters. Parish Councillor Brian Bailey , of Stanley Ward, lists how Burscough has suffered since the adoption of the current, 2013, Local Plan.
He writes “Increased frequency of flooding events, with no prospect of any significant improvement in the medium to long term future. Reduced/lack of maintenance by LCC on the A59 and 5209 have left sections in a dangerous condition together with a poor regime of gully cleaning which adds to surface water flooding.
“Closure of the interchange buildingat Burscough Bridge station and the loss of a direct service to Manchester Piccadilly and the airport. On top of this commuters have suffered a spring and summer of misery through train cancellations and bus replacements. Closure of the police station and a complete lack of a visible police presence.
“Funding cuts, again by LCC, have led to reduced services for the elderly in sheltered accommodation. Reduced health care services and no increase in school capacity.
“We now have the Local Plan Review which is actually a very significant addition to the currently adopted plan, and the controlling Labour group at Borough Council trotting out the same tired promises that their predecessors did prior to the 2013 adoption. It is fair to say that maybe the only improvements made in the last five years have been through the hard work and diligence of Burscough Parish Council and certain voluntary groups.
“I would agree with the sentiment in the article that residents should get involved with the consultation and hope against hope that this time the Borough Council will actually listen”.
“But Burscough, like so many other towns, suffers from Lancashire County Council being the “Lead Flood Authority” and takes the leading role in co-ordinating all agencies with responsibility for ensuring that our surface water drainage system is adequate.
“United Utilities manages foul drainage [badly!]and it is their responsibility to ensure that there is adequate capacity. The Parish Council is not aware of any significant investment planned for Burscough’s foul drainage network, despite recurrent surcharges of foul sewage onto our streets.
“Burscough Parish Council has repeatedly voiced concerns that both surface water and foul networks are under-capacity, and that new development may exacerbate existing flooding and may cause further flooding.
“Burscough Parish Council is delighted to work with Burscough Flood Group, an independent group of residents who have researched flooding in Burscough and who have compiled a comprehensive, evidence based register of incidents of flooding in Burscough. Burscough Parish Council have also commissioned drainage consultants, SCP, to provide their opinion of aspects of our drainage network”.
Burscough Flood Group committed itself to a painstaking and thorough investigation providing a most comprehensive reference document, and they now urge professionals across Lancashire to make use of this resource. For their sins in fighting for the town, members have been declared vexatious by the WLBC. They should be honoured instead!