The new Borough Chief Operating Officer Jacqui Sinnott-Lacey believed that “exciting times lie ahead for the Borough and its people”. It’s early days and the jury is still out!
In early April a member of the Burscough Flood Group wrote to her “You may recall we spoke at the Burscough Town Council meeting earlier this year when I introduced myself to you.
“I listened to what you had to say and I did note you indicating that many of the issues which Burscough suffers would be addressed under your Leadership. Of particular note was your indication that West Lancs. Borough Council would comply with the standards expected by way of openness and transparency, it is to be hoped that honesty and integrity are amongst the Principles you wish to include within the standards you hope to build on and uphold.
“You may also recall I wrote to you on 13th February to let you know my home had been threatened with flood again with contaminated water coming within half an inch of entering my home. I only saved my home and my neighbours from internal flooding by the deployment of pumps on 9th February for the 5th time in a 6 month period (With photographs as evidence).
“I recognise you will be very busy, and I am sure that is the reason why my problem was not worthy of any acknowledgement from you. “With this in mind, I would not wish to have you take up your time in responding directly to this E-mail and accompanying Report. Your enthusiastic declarations on how things are going to improve are nothing I haven’t heard a hundred times over by other enthusiastic new leaders.
“So, although I would not ask for any response to this e-mail, I would however welcome positive proof once you have managed to implement the changes you have indicated you say you are going to bring about which safeguard our Community, and Burscough Residents in particular, from any deceit being played on them through the insincere promises of the past”.
“Jacob’s Report And Burscough Flooding Issues. Thank you for your recent email, relating to the Jacob’s Report. My team have recently responded to Rosie Cooper MP on this matter following your contact with her.
“It was lovely to meet you at the Burscough Parish Council meeting. As I outlined I am particularly keen that the Council listens to residents’ concerns and responds to them in an open, honest and fair manner. Flooding concerns in connection with your property are clearly very problematic and understandably distressing for you. Can I apologise that you did not receive an acknowledgement to the email that you sent through in February, this should have been sent even though in your note you indicated that you were not requiring a response at that time.
“I am aware that several members of the Burscough Flood Action Group have recently been in touch with the Borough Council about flooding issues in the Burscough area and I know that Mr Ian Gill, Head of Growth and Development, has offered to personally meet with you, along with members of his team. He is keen to discuss your concerns in an effort to move matters forward. I hope that, once this current crisis is over, you will be able to take up his offer.
“I have noted your concerns about the Jacob’s Report. This report was commissioned by Lancashire County in their role as the Lead Local Flood Authority. The report has only recently been received by the Borough Council. Any issues with the report will need to be put to, and responded by, the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) and I believe that the Burscough Flood Action Group have already communicated their concerns to the LLFA.
“Taken from Jacobs’ Report; RMAs engaged with as part of this SWMP include: Lancashire County Council (as Lead Local Flood Authority and Highway Authority); West Lancashire Borough Council (as District Council); and, United Utilities (as Water and Sewerage Company).
“A project start-up meeting was held on the 6th December 2018 with key RMAs listed above to share local knowledge of flood history, define the aims and objectives of the SWMP, to develop the scope of the study including the sharing of critical data sets and key project deadlines. I hope that this is helpful and that you will be able take up discussions with our team going forward”.
As we suggest, the jury is still out, but there is promise. But we might remember previous management performances, all with bitter disappointments for Burscough.