29th August 2020 we wrote “Dear Rosie, you are up against a brick wall of official complacency, official ignorance, officials who couldn’t care less, official dereliction of duty, commercial interests, shareholders’ come first and the public taxpayers last. You can’t win. Simple! The floods will appear year after year in Aughton, Burscough, Halsall, and all over West Lancashire and you won’t find anyone, elected or paid, who gives a damn! You’ve met them, they’ve ignored you, and they always will. If you think LCC and UU are remotely interested, just ask the Burscough Flooding Group for a view of the passing the buck/blame game!”
1st October, 2020 “West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has secured a commitment from Lancashire County Council to undertake significant improvement and unblocking work on drains near and under Town Green Primary School. It is disappointing that LCC have let the school flood on so many occasions before taking this action.
“LCC, who are the Local Lead Flood Authority, has responded to MP Rosie’s repeated concerns about flooding at the school, which have also been brought to their attention by Headteacher Mr Nick Huxley.
“The storms in February and August caused flooding right through the school and forcing it to close, Rosie Cooper MP has been in regular correspondence with LCC to ensure they took their responsibility seriously and ensure they undertake the investigative work required of them.
Rosie commented “I am pleased that after months of wrangling with Lancashire County Council they have finally undertaken the investigation work which has identified a series of improvements under the school and through private land. This work is necessary to unlock the proper flow of surface water through this particular drainage system”.
“LCC are now working on their action plan which will be available next month with further works in the public highway that may also be of benefit downstream from the school on Town Green Lane also under consideration. The council have further committed to ‘unravelling the remaining complex network of drains in the area’ and identify where additional investment might be worthwhile. I will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that meaningful progress is made”.
But two days ago Roger Blaxall of QLocal described the scene in flooded Aughton on 20th January and wrote “This was the scene – again – after heavy rain in Aughton yesterday flooded Town Green Lane at its junction with Whalley Drive. Water was pouring out of Town Green School; the promised work on local watercourses planned by LCC (after much prodding from MP Rosie Cooper) can’t begin soon enough: Good news on flooding in Aughton (qlocal.co.uk)
And he asked, as would any resident of Town Green “In the meantime, would locals be justified in withholding part of their council tax precept – currently a whopping £1,400 a year for band D properties – or not?”.
So what can residents do, legally, that enforces the duty of the LCC to provide street drainage that avoids what is shown here? What can Rosie Cooper do “to ensure that meaningful progress is made”?
This is neglect, pure and simple. Not just by LCC, but seemingly by every elected member of both LCC and WLBC for Aughton & Downholland ward, as they are all invisible. LCC & WLBC O’Toole, WLBC D Westley, S Currie (living in London), have any of them been to see the floods? Utterly useless and taking vast allowances between them.
How would magistrates react to residents withholding council tax with the evidence of these pictures? Fines, imprisonment? Or gold medals for services to upholding the “value for money” concept of local authority taxation?