Strong On Flooding, Weak On Delivery?

Whenever homes flood through the ineptitude of those who should prevent it, and indeed most likely do prevent it in their own homes, we get the spotlight treatment. It’s as regular as night follows day. And it’s happened again. Because people who claim to be strong on flooding are weak on delivery.

Three years ago West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper was pleased that the Chief Executive of Ofwat, Cathryn Ross

has agreed to come and speak to local residents here in West Lancashire on some of the vital work they do and how they work with utility companies on investment plans to mitigate flooding risks. “I am delighted that the Chief Executive of Ofwat, Cathryn Ross has agreed to come and speak with us here in West Lancashire on some of the vital work they do and how they work with utility companies on investment plans to mitigate flooding risks. This meeting will give local residents a more high level, strategic look how national organisations can help us locally.

“Having such a high profile speaker will ensure we continue to shine the spotlight on the flooding and drainage issues we have here in West Lancashire. It’s easy to forget just how vulnerable we are when there hasn’t been a flooding incident for a while, but homes and businesses have been ravaged in recent years, notably the Boxing Day floods of 2015. We must continue to work all year round to build up our flood resilience, address the issues causing the flooding, from blocked gulleys to farm-field runoff to over development, and ensure we are doing all we can to protect homes and businesses in West Lancashire”.

15th September, 2020. Rosie Cooper MP Secures Gully Clearance On Crabtree Lane. West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has secured action from Lancashire County Council who have confirmed their inspection and clearance of highway drainage on Crabtree Lane, Burscough.

Following the August storms, many residents suffered flooding at their properties on Crabtree Lane, and contacted Rosie Cooper MP for her support in getting action from the responsible agencies.  

MP Rosie has written to all agencies involved with flooding including Lancashire County Council (who are both the Local Lead Flood Authority and the Local Highways Authority), West Lancashire Borough Council, United Utilities, Network Rail and the Environment Agency. She has also written to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to highlight the issues at Crabtree Lane and call for action to resolve the problems.  

In pursuing the cases, LCC have responded to confirm they have now inspected the highway drainage on Crabtree Lane, identifying and clearing a blockage in the culvert near the properties, and everything is now running clear. Rosie commented “I am pleased that Lancashire County Council have come and inspected their drainage and in doing so found a blockage which they subsequently cleared to allow water to now flow freely through drains on Crabtree Lane.

“However, I and local residents remain frustrated that this inspection and clearance is only done as a reaction to properties having been flooded. I have further written to Lancashire County Council asking when the last time they came to inspect, and to increase the frequency of their inspection schedule especially in areas of previous flooding.   

“Homes can not be allowed to flood while the drains outside their properties which could alleviate some of that pressure are blocked. I accept that this one drain won’t resolve all the flooding issues across Burscough or even across all the properties on Crabtree Lane, but at the very least it will afford some homes protection some of the time, or at least buy residents time to enact their flood defence measures.

“I continue to correspond with the agencies and specifically LCC and Network Rail about the management and maintenance of culverts running under the rail line, to ensure that these are operating effectively to add further flood alleviation to the area”.

Astute “flooded of Crabtree Lane” might look at what Rosie stated, that “LCC have found a blockage that they subsequently cleared” and assume liability by LCC for being flooded and make claims of compensation for the damage and costs involved in the partial ruination of their homes. A class action by the residents might bear fruit. Is there a “No win no fee” lawyer in Burscough or Ormskirk who could give an opinion?

You betcha!

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