The ruination of homes by council neglect is a crime. We’ve all heard of special relationships. What WLBC doesn’t want is ANY relationship with pensioners, especially those whose homes in Burscough are flooded due to serial incompetence by WLBC and its “flood prevention partners in crime”.
The ruination of any homes by official neglect is a disgrace, and for responsibility look no further than flood prevention officers. Recently an exchange of opinions took place that revealed the reliance of WLBC on misinformation, false claims, and claptrap. No change there then!
Having stated in July 2020 to WLBC that “Only WLBC as our Local Planning Authority, has a specific duty to prevent development driven surface and groundwater water flooding onsite and downstream in Burscough from increasing indefinitely”, Gavin Rattray
pressed on into dialogue with them and was told 28th September by
Jacqui Sinnnot-Lacey “The Council is searching to find a potential solution to the problems due to flooding experienced by some of the properties on Crabtree Lane, and other issues that have arisen in Burscough. As a consequence the Council pulled together a meeting with the LLFA and United Utilities to discuss this further and see how solutions could be progressed. This meeting was held on 14 September and the LLFA advised that they are actively investigating the issues associated with the flooding suffered on Crabtree Lane and considering possible solutions. Further discussions need to be held with Network Rail and the NFU to progress matters. I am determined that this Council will continue to assist and push for progress”.
To which he replied 29 September “Thank you for your email about WLBC’s recent and next flooding meeting. Burscough Flooding Group (BFG) are happy to share our knowledge of the causes of the increased rate of surface water flooding at Crabtree Lane, unfortunately, that is not possible because WLBC withdrew its previous invitation to meet. We would be delighted to attend your next flooding meeting with partners if they are not held in secret as usual, can you please let us know if you wish us to attend and assist the solution with local knowledge?
“As you know, up to now our flood risk management authorities have held meetings where you do not want to meet or hear from flood victims or residents with local knowledge of the problem. Obviously this approach attracts the conclusion that they aren’t serious meetings intended to solve a problem, and the evidence on the ground supports that conclusion. We would be delighted to help you change that situation, so can you please let us know if you wish us to attend and assist the solution with local knowledge?
“To that end, can I remind you of the investigation I originally requested in May into the unusual way the drainage conditions for planning applications are decided by WLBC, which yourself and Council Leader Ian Moran both brushed off in June and July and now again in September.
“Given your determination that your Council will continue to assist and push for progress, now seems to me like the appropriate time to investigate whether all of the available information was meaningfully considered and whether there have been many breaches of planning, or the drainage conditions were decided incorrectly for the many development sites, including 2019/1182/ARM, which are responsible for the increase in the widespread surface water flooding problems in Burscough. Can you please let me know whether you are going to investigate the matter as I requested in June 2020 and when we can expect a response with the results of your investigations?“.
And, 10 November, there then followed “Dear Mr Rattray. Thank you for your e-mail dated 29 September 2020 in relation to flooding and planning matters in Burscough. As you are aware the council recently held a meeting with partners to discuss a number of flooding issues in the borough, the minutes of which are attached for information. Following recent flooding events in Burscough, the council has been in contact with a resident of Burscough to arrange a meeting, however, understandably the timing wasn’t convenient for the individual.
“The offer of a meeting has been left open with the individual concerned and we are waiting for the resident to make contact with us, at which time a suitable time and date will be agreed. The council is happy to meet with residents to discuss their concerns, share knowledge and engage relevant partners. If you are able to suggest a suitable time for a meeting I would be happy to facilitate this taking into consideration the current lockdown restrictions.
“With regards to the issues that you raise pertaining to the planning application and discharge of conditions a response has previously been provided through the Council’s complaints procedure on this matter. I hope that this response is helpful and demonstrates our desire to work together to find a solution to the flooding problems. Kind regards Jacqui Sinnott-Lacey“
From Gavin Rattray 10 November 2020 “Dear Jacqui Sinnott-Lacey. Thank you for writing, unfortunately the fundamental inaccuracies in your email has rendered it meaningless. For the avoidance of doubt I believe when you state, “a resident of Burscough” you mean Mr Bernard Webster. His meeting with WLBC was arranged before WLBC’s recent meeting and he stated that WLBC cancelled when he was flooded again for the fifth time and WLBC’s letter to him confirms that.
“Mr Webster, who is a member of Burscough Flooding Group, is a retired policeman who was awarded a commendation for his long service and clean record. Since retiring he has worked as a volunteer for the local community maintaining one of the footpaths to Martin Mere.
“I have to wonder whether WLBC are deliberately writing such a lot of nonsense to me and copying it elsewhere, in order to fabricate a false record of compassion and public service within WLBC?
“Whereas the reality seems to be contempt for flood victims and residents who dare question the status quo. You might appreciate reading the following accurate record of events.
“With regards to the issues that I raised pertaining to planning applications. I asked both yourself and the council leader to investigate serious abnormalities in planning a long time ago and neither of you have done so. Instead you have both been fobbing me off, why? Best regards, Gavin Rattray – Secretary Burscough Flooding Group“.
We repeat “The ruination of any homes by official neglect is a disgrace” and is the mark of failures, of duty to care, of compassion, witnessed by and proved by those who suffer flooding.