Monitoring blockages vital to prevent flooding

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Blackpool’s flood risk strategy has come under scrutiny from councillors who today warned seeing communities in the south of England under water has underlined the need for preventative action.

A report due to go to before Blackpool Council’s scrutiny committee on Thursday outlines recommendations including that an up-to-date mapping system is maintained of watercourses and sewers.

It also calls for the council to assess the potential costs of maintaining new drainage systems.

Coun Maxine Callow, who led the scrutiny panel, said: “There has been flooding in Blackpool over the years, including in my ward Norbreck around Mossom Lane.

“So when we set off on this we realised how important it was, but now there has been all this flooding in the south of England it shows it is vital to take on board all the comments made by the scrutiny panel.

“As a town we have been very fortunate in this dreadful winter, and our flood defences have held, but we can’t just stand back and think nothing will happen.

“We have to be ready, and thanks to the scrutiny panel looking at our strategy it means we are ahead of other towns.”

New flood risk management responsibilities were introduced for local authorities by the Government following severe flooding during the summer of 2007.

Coun Callow added: “On our ward last summer we put ward funding into having all the gulleys cleared and that’s something we hope to continue if funding is available. It is vital to prevent flooding.”

Waterloo Road, in South Shore, was affected by flooding over the winter.

Mark Yaters, who owns Brooks Collectables, on the street, said: “It’s having a system in place to cope and help people afterwards that I think is important, rather than putting out fires you need to prevent them.”