Roger Blaxall of QLocal wrote “Many folk take it easy on a Sunday morning with a coffee, gentle stroll or by reading the weighty Sunday papers. Not this couple though.
“Carl and Mandy of Aughton Park Drive were so sick and tired of waiting for LCC contractors to clear blocked grids they rolled up their sleeves and did it themselves.
“In total the hardworking duo cleared four drains of dirt, mud and leaves – work which should be done by contractors CJ Lyon (Drain & Septic Tank Specialists (cj-lyon.co.uk) for LCC.
“Perhaps [Carl and Mandy] they should bill County Hall for all their hard work…on Sunday 17 January”.
And on 18 January “Highways Teams Are Ready To Respond To Flooding”.18 January 2021 Lancashire County Council News Release PR21/0013, including much bullshit! Because flooding is an afterthought from the county that denies many flooding issues.
The bullshit bulletin includes “Lancashire County Council’s highway teams are preparing to respond to any problems with flooding on the roads ahead of weather warnings for heavy rain.
“Highways staff have already been checking locations which are vulnerable to flooding to ensure that highway drains and trash screens are clear, and extra resources are on standby to help if needed. These include highways staff and contractors who can respond to incidents such as downed trees, or the need to close roads and divert traffic if roads are affected by flooding. Gully wagons are also on stand-by which are often needed during or after flooding to clear debris which gets washed into highway drains.
“People are also being reminded that up to 80% of reports received about problems with drains during severe weather are due to debris sitting over the top of grates, rather than a more serious maintenance issue. If it is safe to do so, clearing the debris which is plugging the grate can often resolve the issue and allow water to enter the drainage system.
“The county council maintains over 300,000 roadside drains with those most at risk of becoming blocked being checked most often. John Davies, head of highways, said “We always respond to reports of flooding as quickly as we can, and whatever the problem our teams will do their best to help.
“Our teams have already been checking culverts and drains which are vulnerable to becoming blocked, and will be on standby to respond to any reports of flooding we receive. During heavy and persistent rain such as has been forecast this week we can expect there to be some surface water flooding, and I would ask people to be very careful on the roads. If you encounter a flooded road, please stop and turn around rather than put yourself at risk.
“As we have seen during past flooding incidents, the sheer volume of water can lead to drainage systems becoming overwhelmed, and it is often the case that the water will only be able to drain away once the storm has subsided and river levels have lowered, so I would also ask people to be patient.
“If people are worried that a highways drain has become blocked by debris it’s worth being aware that this can often be dealt with by brushing the debris aside and clearing it away. However, please only do this if it’s safe as we would never want anyone to put themselves at risk.
“We do of course respond to all reports of flooding that we receive, but particularly when storms are ongoing we have to prioritise the most serious flooding issues”.
“If you can’t clear a blocked drain yourself, or the problem doesn’t appear to be caused by debris plugging the grate, please report it online at lancashire.gov.uk/roads-parking-and-travel/report-it or by calling 0300 123 6701 and highways staff will attend as soon as they can. You can find more information and advice about what to do before, during and after a flood at lancashire.gov.uk/flooding”.
CJ Lyon claim “We regularly carry out work for Lancashire and West Lancashire County Councils, Chorley Borough Council and Halton Borough Council offering inspection services, drain clearance, gully emptying etc…”
And of course there is the layer of help between us, council tax payers, and the LCC. The elected members for Aughton Park ward, whose duty it is to represent the public, and if necessary tell the county about problems. Unfortunately both are residents of Halsall, being Doreen Stephenson and Marilyn Westley. Known as the “lesser spotted in Aughton members” they collect around £4,842 each.
As for the county, riches galore, for top officers failing to provide full services to the public.
Send in your bill, Carl and Mandy, based on the hourly rate earned by the Chief Executive, because your work is far more valuable than hers!