County Council And United Utilities At Sixes And Sevens

Over Burscough Flooding Cause, Says Rosie Cooper. Imagine it! Rosie Cooper is frustrated with an apparent stand-off between the utterly feeble minded Lancashire County Council and the equally feeble minded United Utilities, the company that states “We are on track to deliver our vision of becoming the UK’s best water and wastewater company, providing great service to our customers and creating value for our shareholders”, over flooding responsibility in Burscough.

Storms in August caused flooding in the Mill Lane area of Burscough with some residents forced to move out of their homes due to the damage. In correspondence between Rosie and agencies, it has been identified that drainage connections were damaged during the Persimmon development which started many years ago and has long since been completed.

However, LCC and UU are providing Rosie with conflicting responses, she said “Residents of Mill Lane suffered flooding during the August storms and contact me to raise their problems and the lack of support offered by the authorities.

“Having written to Lancashire County Council and United Utilities, I can’t seem to get a straight answer from them for my constituents! UU just want to tell me that the primary cause of flooding was due to heavy rainfall overwhelming the gullies and culverted watercourse which the highway drainage is connected to, while LCC say their inspection noted evidence of foul surcharge and sewerage waste. County believe the recent extreme rainfall overwhelmed both surface water and foul water solutions.

“So here we have both agencies pointing fingers at the other! At least LCC accept their systems are inadequate but what is more worrying is they are indicating that both systems are inadequate! I have written to Persimmon Homes to ask that they urgently carry out the repair work to the drainage connections that were damaged during the construction phase, while I continue to demand United Utilities invest in infrastructure upgrade in Burscough”.

UU litters its annual reports with a list of slogans. “Outcome Delivery Incentive (ODI) performance; Our Systems Thinking approach is unparalleled; Service Incentive Mechanism; Town Action Planning; Water resources and bio-processing (or sludge)” are examples.

Sadly, this emphasis on slogans hides the simple truth. UU is more concerned with its share price than its services to the public. Sludge is probably more apt than customer care, and while it pays “Total annual CEO compensation as reported as UK £2.3m for the year to March 2019” to Mr Mogford we will always be asking “What services to the flooded public in West Lancashire are worth £2.3million a year to make HIS life run smoothly?”

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