Flooding Institutional Inertia Overcome By OWLs

Hopes rise for flood affected area after Network Rail “come to the table” with OWLs.

Hopes for progress to alleviate flood risk for long-suffering residents living in Crabtree Lane in Burscough have risen. Network Rail drainage experts have confirmed drainage investigation works are underway and they will be meeting with Lancashire County Council on Monday.

Despairing residents in the area approached OWL Councillor Adrian Owens

for assistance after the floods of the 11th August which saw properties once again flooded. Residents have suffered repeated flooding damage over recent years.

After spending 90 minutes outside their properties and listening to their concerns first hand, Cllr Owens took up a number of matters on their behalf. “A camera survey of the pipework system under Crabtree Lane has now taken place and today Network Rail (the rail line runs across the affected area) have confirmed their investigations are underway”.

Cllr Owens said “It was clear that residents were meeting institutional inertia in having their voice heard and that there was a lack of coordination between agencies. I’m pleased that agencies now appear to be pulling in the same direction and I hope that out of this will come meaningful and effective proposals to alleviate the flooding risk in this part of Burscough”.

Email to Rick Hellings Senior Asset Engineer Drainage & Off Track – NW&C Region (North) 11 September 2020 from Cllr Adrian Owens “Dear Mr Hellings, I am a West Lancashire Borough Councillor and I have very kindly been given your contact details by our council Drainage officer, David Owens. I am assisting residents in the area. I am writing in connection with the Drainage System in part of Burscough, West Lancashire close to Crabtree Lane which crosses beneath the Manchester to Southport train Line.

“I understand that Network Rail have been contacted regarding this previously, the reference number is Network Rail – Service Request Notification 200114-000419. The primary intention of this email is that discussion and communication can be opened up with yourselves, the Local Lead Flood Authority; other agencies and local residents in order to explore the possibility of considering works which could ultimately lead to reducing flooding locally with funding being made available from other sources than Network Rail’s alone.

“I understand that in previous correspondence from a resident, enquiries were made regarding Culverts and drains which were believed to pass beneath the Railway but had fallen into disrepair. Network Rail responded indicating that these could not be found. However, as a result of recent work carried out on drainage nearby, one culvert and one drain have now been uncovered and cleared. These are shown on attached images pic 1 and pic 2. As you should be able to see from the pictures, the Culvert allows a considerable amount of water to pass through”. There is more, read it on the OWL website. https://www.ourwestlancashire.com/2020/09/hopes-rise-for-flood-affected-area-after-network-rail-come-to-the-table/

Email from Rick Hellings to Cllr Owens Friday 18 September 2020 “Dear Councillor Owens, Thanks very much for your email and extremely detailed and useful account of the issues. We are undertaking drainage investigations into the area, and this information will help that investigation. I am going on a meeting with Lancashire County Council this coming Monday to discuss this and other local issues regarding flooding. My colleague, Ben Fitzpatrick will endeavour to keep you informed of further developments. Rick Hellings BEng (HONS), IEng MICE Senior Asset Engineer Drainage & Off Track – NW&C Region (North)”.

There is more detail. But the main reason for this development was the total despair of the residents of flooded Crabtree Lane Burscough. We showed this picture of a flood damaged house with its beautiful flooring ruined, enough to break your heart. Who came to help? 

Nobody from the local Labour party, no Labour councillors for Burscough, were evident. Nobody from the Labour Council was evident. But the Independent OWLs  listened and you can read what happened above.

It’s the same in Aughton  parts of the Town Green School and surrounding properties ruined. Where were the local Tory councillors? One lives and works in London but is paid full allowances, two others an equal waste of space. Time was we were told this borough council would be cut to 36 elected members from 54. It can’t come quick enough if Burscough and Aughton are setting the standard for service to taxpayers!

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