New powers in flood fight

Last week's floods in Rosefinch Way, Marton.
Last week's floods in Rosefinch Way, Marton.
Have your say

A PANEL is to be set up to scrutinise the council’s role in flood management after a change in legislation.

Unitary authorities including Blackpool Council now have new responsibilities in terms of assessing flood risk.

Town hall chiefs are currently compiling a new policy although the Environment Agency will remain responsible for main river and coastal flooding.

A panel of councillors is to be set up to scrutinise the process and ensure the strategy meets requirements.

The council’s scrutiny committee was told duties included “to develop and maintain a register of structures or features which might impact on flood risk”.

Since June the council has also had tougher new powers to take action if structures on private land affect flood risk. Coun Val Haynes told the committee the recent flooding of roads on the Morris Homes estate on Rosefinch Way in Marton proved why action had to be taken.

Although the flood waters did not enter the properties themselves, many residents are unhappy as they believe not enough has been done to protect them as roads and gardens were covered in water.

Coun Haynes said: “We have seen what has happened on the former Pixie Mushrooms site in Marton.

“When we were on planning, we said at the time there was an issue with the water drainage.

“We might have to bring people out of their homes if there is such a big flood there. It is a massive problem.

“We have had problems year on year and it is not improving. You can have all the strategies in the world, but something has to work.

“Part of the problem as I understand it, is the antiquated sewer system we have in Blackpool.”

Coun Allan Matthews said more needed to be done to ensure drains were cleared. He said; “Recently we have had Project 30 working on roads around the borough. After the last round of resurfacing, a lot of the drains got blocked up. A lot of leaves also block up drains.

“We need to make sure the drains are not blocked.”

Coun Tony Lee asked if resurfaced roads had a camber on them, which enables water to drain off.

He told the committee: “Roads tend not to have a camber these days which is why you get water standing between the drains and not clearing away. That is happening a lot in South Shore.”

The new legislation is a response to the 2007 summer floods.

Click here to register with The Gazette website to enable you to leave your comments and reaction to stories.