How Secret Is The WLBC Flooding And Drainage Cabinet Working Group?

Report Into November 2017 Flooding Released Monday, August 12, 2019. An overview report of the flooding which struck Lancashire in November 2017 has been published by Lancashire County Council, almost two years after the event!

Quote from LCC “As a Lead Local Flood Authority, Lancashire County Council, has a duty to investigate flooding in accordance with Section 19 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. Lancashire County Council is responsible for maintaining 4,300miles of highways including roads, bridges and pavements. Gullies are cleaned out regularly in priority areas where there is a history of problems being caused by blockages”.

From which readers may assume that the gullies in West Lancashire that are never cleaned out have no priority, including many parts of Burscough, Ormskirk, Halsall, Skelmersdale, and Aughton, all known to flood!

Under which part of the WLBC Constitution has the WLBC Flooding and Drainage Cabinet Working Group been created and is it aware of this Section 19 commitment of the LCC LLFA?

From WLBC “The Flooding and Drainage CWG was established to understand the Council’s role in such matters and look into a variety of flooding and drainage issues across the Borough.  The Group has met twice so far to examine the statutory roles of different agencies; had a presentation off Newground in relation to the Flood Hub; and received an overview of flooding across the Borough. 

“The Group will be holding a series of meetings over the coming months, including a meeting tomorrow night to receive a presentation from the Environment Agency.  Future meetings will include an invitation to the flood action groups from across the Borough to come and outline their roles and issues; a presentation from the Lead Local Flood Authority and consideration of sustainable drainage systems.  Following this evidence gathering, the Group will ultimately report back to Cabinet on any specific actions this Council should take or on how other agencies should be lobbied”.

Response to WLBC? “Thank you for your reply that disappointingly indicates the creation of a Council talking shop to study what other Council talking shops have talked about, with no success, for years. It is disappointing inasmuch as WLBC has known the precise areas of West Lancashire that suffered from neglectful flooding for years. How could these elected members and officers need, in 2021, to suddenly understand their own existing roles? How could they be so ignorant of the existing flooding and drainage issues that are now almost daily topics when it rains?

“In respect of Newground, which claims to “Deliver services in community support and training, employment, environment and health & safety compliance, flood resilience, landscape architecture and grounds maintenance” why does WLBC need their involvement in a Flood Hub that is already seriously funded by council tax?

“I fear that what you describe, the “Group meetings, receive a presentation from the Environment Agency, presentation from the Lead Local Flood Authority and consideration of sustainable drainage systems, and above all the invitation to the flood action groups from across the Borough to come and outline their roles and issues”, are mere repeats of history and ongoing failures by WLBC to safeguard residents and property through neglect. Who needs another talking shop?

“The inclusion of the examination of the statutory roles of different agencies beggars belief. If employed officers of WLBC don’t already know those statutory roles and explain them as required, why are they employed by WLBC? And so to the crux of the matter. Future meetings, outlining roles, presentations, considerations, evidence gathering, reporting back, and the ultimate insult to the intelligence of flooded residents of West Lancashire, how other agencies should be lobbied.

“In the past few days the Leader of the WLBC wrote to the Leader of the LCC about an everlasting flooding issue in Skelmersdale. Cllr Moran received the usual LCC rebuttal. That was failed lobbying. Does WLBC seriously believe any more time and money should be wasted on this Flooding and Drainage CWG?

“Can you confirm WLBC is aware the “Flood Hub is funded by the North West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (RFCC) and is a joint partner initiative developed by the Environment Agency, United Utilities, us here at Newground, and the Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire Strategic Flood Partnerships” yet more talking shops?”

Readers should safely assume the official philosophy of bullshittery is in control of the disastrous flooding and drainage results we witness from slightly heavy rain. And it gives the Flooding and Drainage CWG something to talk about!

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