The Burscough Flood Scandal

This, below, is an annotated picture from Google Earth

It shows the location of the photo used as our header. It is just on the other side of the Railway Crossing from the oft flooded home of the photographer and is one of the main water courses taking water from Burscough.

It is the location of the restriction beneath the Railway which Network Rail refuses to address. You wouldn’t believe that it was on 4th February, 2019 when West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said “It has taken far too long for this Jacobs flood report to come forward from Lancashire County Council, it’s been a year and a half since I was offered a copy of it at the Flood Forum meeting I held in Christ Church.

“All the county can tell us now is that the recommendations are too expensive to carry out, but very little about what they have been doing for the past two years to make any progress. “This was taxpayers’ money used to fund a very high level and detailed report and the immediate reaction suggests it was all a waste of time and money.

“I have written to Lancashire County Council and to DEFRA to ask what they plan to do now to protect my constituents from the threat of further flooding, many constituents who have already had their lives devastated through flooding in 2012 or 2015.”

On 20th July 2020 Rosie Cooper wrote to a flooded resident of Burscough about the Jacobs Report and with some correspondence from Jacobs she was sending to that resident. It stated “Thank you for reaching out to Jacobs UK and providing comments by ***** to a study we were commissioned to undertake by Lancashire County Council in Burscough. Unfortunately we cannot respond on this matter. We have however forwarded the information you have provided to Rachel Crompton the Flood Risk Manager at Lancashire County Council who is responsible for managing any consultation with local Risk Management Authorities and local communities”. Yours sincerely Tegender Chaudhary Company Secretary. 

It was in February 2018 that Lancashire County Council commissioned Jacobs UK Ltd to “undertake a Level 2 Surface Water Management Plan (SWMP) study covering the small town of Burscough within West Lancashire”. Shortly after the project started, it was put on hold for several months whilst ongoing network modelling was undertaken by United Utilities. This dataset was considered critical to the completion of the SWMP. The project started up again in November 2018, with the updated network model provided March 2019.

A Burscough resident and member of the Burscough Flooding Group affected by these flood events wrote to Rosie Cooper “My personal view, and it is based on my observations rather than the opinion of others, and was formed long before I had any flooding issues, is that “Talking is cheaper than doing”.

“I don’t believe that the Lead Flood Authority was ever meant to be successful, because if they were, then to address all the problems they identify would be prohibitively expensive. So they were set up to fail, understaffed, underfunded and under resourced. If they ever get close to resolving an issue, then it is highly likely that there will be a ‘Reorganisation’ or Members of staff will transfer or leave their post, so that the whole process has to start again.

“I don’t think, given your occupation and experience that I need to spell out the many ways that Government or Local Authorities can avoid or defer paying to get the problem sorted out. BFG have been engaging with the LLFA for over 4 years now, and as was expected when we first met, there has not been a spade in the ground, nor does it look like it will happen any time soon, however, there is no shortage of progress when it comes to Development”.

And that sums up the whole process. Development equals council tax equals huge staffing wages and pensions and sod those flooded out. 

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