In its own determination to dispose of the concerns of flooded residents, specifically in Burscough and generally in West Lancashire, LCC continually repeats its ignorance, so it comes as no surprise that, whatever the management level of its responder, LCC finds no fault whatsoever with itself. That’s a truly remarkable situation worthy of some of the wretched outsourcers now deployed by local authorities. Not to mention the statutory providers, United Utilities in particular! It’s unacceptable by those we employ!
And all this in the LCC that paid the Chief Executive £206,000 and ten other officers whose remuneration ranged from £109,000 to £160,000 for various reasons unclear to us!
The officer on this occasion is at Executive Director level, top balls then, having told Rosie Cooper MP, acting on behalf of Gavin Rattray and the Burscough Flooding Group how, in respect of the construction of a weir across the Boathouse Sluice by Martin Mere Wetland Centre “While we [LCC] are the lead local flood authority for the area and we ensure cooperation between drainage authorities in regard to managing flooding risks, each drainage authority abides by its own legislation and regulatory context and takes responsibility for its own decisions, priorities and appropriate actions”. There follows the usual bugger off, “it’s the Environment Agency you need, and I’m not going to comment on their activities”!
And “As for the flooding of dwellings in the vicinity of Martin Mere which may be of concern to us [if we could be bothered] if we could have more detailed information”. Really?
Up steps Gavin Rattray, telling it as it is, “Thank you for your letter attached following. I was very pleased to read that you state that Lancashire County Council may be concerned about the flooding of dwellings in the vicinity of Martin Mere. However, it should also be noted that the raised water table and reduced drainage has also led to the saturation and flooding of local farmland around Martin Mere.
“Our knowledge of the problem is as follows. We know four homes on Fish Lane definitely suffered internal flooding in 2015, the real number will have been higher and probably even higher than that on the 6th October 2020. Many of the homes installed flood prevention measures in 2016, however, local residents indicate that the severity and frequency of flooding has increased and that at least two homes on Fish Lane were flooded again on October 6th.
“A table with only the 2015 floods was originally supplied to LCC in 2016 but was refused. None-the-less Burscough Flood Records Report was published by Burscough Town Council in 2016 and continuously available to LCC since 2016, which is long before LCC had a flood line. See the table on page 72 of Burscough Flood Records Report attached.
“We cannot share the residents’ names or house numbers of flood victims with you or anyone else without their permission. However, I suggest that you at least speak with all of the residents living in the areas highlighted below, there aren’t many and some of whom will tell you all you need to know. We do know that James Thompson, who is a very well informed local resident, has written to LCC many times about the causes and extent of the flooding problems caused by the Weir; and Martin Mere’s failure to manage water on its site. I suggest that just like communications with BFG you need to re-read information and correspondence about flooding and talk to residents living in the areas highlighted; when you can also tell them yourselves about your new flood line.
“Note: Some of the older history of the problems between LCC in its role as Local Lead Flood Authority; residents and BFG, needs to be repeated, because you seem to be in the dark about the amount of knowledge of this problem which LCC already has.
“Aside from the large amounts of information provided to LCC by residents such as James Thompson, BFG reported to LCC in 2016 that serious flooding took place in the aforesaid dwellings during the 2015 Boxing Day floods. However, after we reported our knowledge of the problem, along with many other floods in Burscough to LCC. LCC councillors voted to exclude the information from LCCs S19 report compiled for the 2015 Boxing Day floods.
“Since then LCC spent some years, since its political decision in 2016, refusing evidence from BFG and logically speaking given LCC’s current low level of knowledge, must have been refusing/losing evidence from other residents. One might perceivably imagine it was deliberate, because flooding evidence could have delayed and added to the cost of housing developments which WLBC and LCC supported in the 2012 local plan, or completely moved them”.
Our Bullshit-O-Meter has detected a high rating of the LCC response. Not surprised are we?