For a long time we have been publishing pictures of floods that start high up Parrs Lane,
which has numerous grids blocked by uncleared farm and road debris, and then flows down to Prescot Road,
and Town Green Lane, flooding the school gate areas,
the flooded Aughton Surgery entrance shown below
down to the Whalley Drive junction.
And nobody, no local or county elected member, has ever been remotely concerned. But now West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has hit out at Lancashire County Council inaction in resolving flooding issues at Aughton Town Green Primary School.
Headteacher Mr Nick Huxley initially contacted MP Rosie in February following Storm Ciara when the school was almost completely inaccessible due to a river of water running through it and stopping people entering through the school gates. On that occasion, the school was forced to close at short notice leaving children without education and parents struggling to arrange childcare and alternative arrangements.
Despite Mr Huxley meeting with LCC’s Highways Team, LCC’s Surveyor and the local LCC Councillor at the start of the year, there has been no progress on resolving the issue, as we repeat, starting in Parrs Lane.
Rosie remains frustrated with Lancashire County Council’s failure to act and resolve this issue, with the school and surrounding area experiencing further flooding during Storm Kyle this month. She said “It is unacceptable that Aughton Town Green School and local residents have to put up with this flooding despite Lancashire County Council having been fully aware of the flooding issues here since at least February, and Mr Huxley describing it as a ‘historic problem’. Prescot Road/Town Green Lane junction flooded, below
“The children are due back at school next week and not only have the investigations from the February floods not been completed and resolved but the school is still being flooded. Lancashire County Council are both the Local Lead Flood Authority and the Local Education Authority, this is for them to sort out, and they should sort it out quickly.
“Expecting the school to be able to stump up thousands of pounds in flood surveys, investigations and defences is simply ridiculous. They have already spent over £10,000 trying to resolve this themselves – any money they spend must come from budgets which should be used for children and their education.
“LCC tell me they believe there are issues upstream of the school so they need to get on and sort that out immediately. The school meanwhile believes the problem may be further down Town Green Lane as the water appears to back up there all the way to the school exacerbating the situation – LCC and UU need to assess the gullies and sewer network here urgently.
“I have written to both LCC and United Utilities demanding that this be resolved urgently as it beggars belief that these large publicly funded organisations can’t resolve this problem. As we are approaching the start of the new school year for pupils and winter for local residents, it is vital that these issues are resolved once and for all to avoid my constituents having a wet cold winter and children having to miss more of their education. No more delays can be acceptable!”
“Dear Rosie, you are up against a brick wall of official complacency, official ignorance, officials who couldn’t care less, official dereliction of duty, commercial interests, shareholders’ come first and the public taxpayers last. You can’t win. Simple! The floods will appear year after year in Aughton, Burscough, Halsall, and all over West Lancashire and you won’t find anyone, elected or paid, who gives a damn! You’ve met them, above, they’ve ignored you, and they always will. If you think LCC and UU are remotely interested, just ask the Burscough Flooding Group for a view of the passing the buck/blame game!”