Flash flooding hell set to go on

Flooding in Weston Hills last year
Flooding in Weston Hills last year
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Residents have hit out at a ‘lazy’ council for not applying for a chunk of a multi-million pound fund to help stop localised flooding.

Last week the government announced the 19 local authorities being given portions of a £75million pot to improve roads, bridges and flood 
defences.

However, Lincolnshire County Council did not apply for any of the money as it said problems locally did not meet the criteria of the funding.

There has been flash flooding in Low Fulney, Weston Hills, Chaucer’s Way, Spalding, and other local areas in recent years.

But the council say any bid would have been unsuccessful as bids had to be for roads that were frequently closed due to flooding.

In June of last year Bernie and Angie Parrish, owners of Scalextric Racing in Weston Hills, were forced out of their business and home, along with eight neighbours, as flash floods hit the area.

However, their home sits along a private road, meaning the responsibility for drainage rests on the residents and not the county council.

Mr Parrish and his family lived in the upstairs area of their home on Mallard Road, Low Fulney, for six months following the storm.

He said: “Our bill to repair the damage was in excess of £100,000. There’s no adequate drainage and the council haven’t made adequate provisions. “They’re going to have to improve the drain and someone needs to put their hands in their pockets. I’m not having that this is a private road and therefore our problem.

“There are E-R signs to show the evacuation route in the case of flooding so I cannot understand how the council can think there’s no problem with flooding.

“The council is being lazy. People flood in Spalding and they know they have a problem with getting water away.

“They’re putting their head in the sand. The money’s there but they don’t want to get involved.”

But due to flash flooding not regularly closing down roads in the region, the county council claim any bid was unlikely to be successful.

A Lincolnshire County Council spokesman, said: “We are hoping to conclude the investigation into the flooding at Mallard Road very soon.

“The investigation is intended to identify those with responsibilities, and whether they are exercising those responsibilities.

“Mallard Road is a private road, so Lincolnshire County Council is not involved as the highway authority.

“However, as the Lead Local Flood Authority we will work with those who do have responsibilities to help manage future flood risk.”

Chaucer’s Way in Spalding has also seen regular flooding, and in May 2016 firefighters were forced to pump sewage-contaminated water away from homes.

The flooding in Chaucer’s Way never entered residents’ houses and Lincolnshire County Council claim the flooding is therefore not a significant risk.

John Fforde, living on Chaucer’s Way, said: “I came out one day and it came over the top of my car. It went over the windscreen.

“I don’t think the county council have done anything. Nothing at all. The council say they don’t know about it or that it hasn’t been reported.

“The biggest problem is that we can’t use the loo because all the water backs up. It’s not very good when you’ve got poo floating around outside your home.”

According to the county council the £75million funding was out of their reach and meant for bigger schemes.

A spokesman added: “The Department for Transport set specific criteria for the types of project that were eligible for this funding.

“In terms of flooding, they were looking for roads that were frequently closed due to surface water and which would significantly benefit from major drainage improvements.

“Although we have roads that occasionally flood, we do not have any that meet the criteria, making it impossible for us to put together a successful bid.

“It would be unwise of us to spend time and money putting together a bid that is bound to be unsuccessful.”

Whilst government funding was unlikely this time round, Lincolnshire County Council have confirmed they may apply for the next pot of money, and are constantly looking out for ways to decrease flood risk.

The spokesman continued: “We record all incidents of flooding that are brought to our attention, and this information is used to plan additional highway drainage maintenance or minor improvements which fall below the Department for Transport threshold.”

No roads were considered damaged, or in need of serious repair, and no action was taken to put together a bid for the roads or bridges in the area.

A highways spokesperson said: “We didn’t have any suitable projects for this round, so did not put a bid forward.

“However, a new tranche of funding is expected to be announced in the near future, with bids submitted in the autumn. Once we have further details, we’ll consider whether we have anything that could be eligible.”

Previously...

Spalding shoppers hit by flash flooding

Spalding residents: please stop our flash floods hell

Flooding in Long Sutton