In his recent attendance at the virtual Planning Committee Cllr David O’Toole
said “None of the Agencies have any concerns about flooding, we have heard that so many times in the past, then we go and allow a development, and what happens a few months later we have flooding”.
And “We have heard from these organisations, particularly the United Utilities and the others that were mentioned, that there wouldn’t be a problem with flooding only to find there is a problem with flooding later on”.
Being reminded that David inquired of the Lord “Shall I go and attack the United Utilities? Will you deliver them into my hands?” The Lord answered him “Go, for I will surely deliver the United Utilities into your hands”.
And David also inquired of the Lord “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?” “Pursue them” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue”. And he turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the river on foot. There did we rejoice in him”.
So, after circa 41 years as an elected councillor give or take the odd break, David O’Toole the decision maker and decision taker on untold developments, many now flood areas, makes his confession as quoted from the recording of the planning meeting that decided the mushroom farm application and outcome.
Gavin Rattray, of the Burscough Flooding Group, mightily impressed, and why not, has responded “I am writing to sincerely thank you for your comment on the recent mushroom farm application, “None of the Agencies have any concerns about flooding, we have heard that so many times in the past, then we go and allow a development, and what happens a few months later, we have flooding”.
“It was such a refreshing change to hear a Borough Councillor, publicly speaking the truth about flooding issues, highlighting that they are linked to developments and that the agencies (who are supposed to be protecting residents) aren’t speaking up!
“Ainscough Mill, Booths, Yew Tree Farm, the former site of the Red Lion and Victoria Park are all examples of developments which went ahead without any unresolved flooding concerns being raised by the agencies. Yet all of them have added to Burscough’s significant surface water flooding problems.
“Experience has taught us not to allow Borough Councillors to attend our meetings, because up until now none are publicly acknowledging the real causes of flooding, however, because of your openness and honesty you have an open invite”.
Well, that is a generous, magnanimous, reaction from Gavin Rattray, allowing for the decisions all our elected members have approved for years that brought us to the flood situation we are in today. And how many more elected members will “do an O’Toole”? Concentrate your minds on “…we have heard that so many times in the past, then we go and allow a development, and what happens a few months later we have flooding”.
So liability for flooding becomes, became, an issue. Vicarious liability is where one person is held liable for the torts of another, even though that person did not commit the act itself. Vicarious liability is essentially a matter of public policy. Does it extend to elected members imposing development based flooding on residents, and by the O’Toole admission, knowingly doing so? We can only wonder at what the legal eagles in Derby Street Towers made of the O’Toole confession?