Councillors in Yarmouth call for swift action on promised £2m upgrades after flooding
- Credit: Chris Stanton
A group of councillors is calling on Anglian Water and the town's MP to fix issues which see parts of the borough repeatedly hit by flooding.
UKIP group leader Kay Grey, and councillors Carl Annison, Tabitha Rodwell and Sue Hacon, said they were fed up with residents in Bradwell and Gorleston suffering when there was heavy rain, and wanted something to be done.
It comes after torrential rain on Sunday saw flooding in the High Street, Beccles Road, Bells Marsh Road, Trafalgar Road West, Avondale Road, Long Lane and Burgh Road, with three fire crews and an officer going to the affected areas.
Cllr Grey said: 'A few years ago UKIP councillors were elected to this borough for the first time, and one of our aims was to get surface developments and waste water system upgraded to tackle flooding and the impact of new developments that government demand we build.
'Once again Bradwell and Gorleston have suffered by inaction on this issue. Despite many meetings with Anglian Water and UKIP being promised a £2m upgrade these residents are still suffering.
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'Enough is enough, the time for talking and promises over. Action is needed. We publicly call upon Anglian Water to produce a work plan for this issue and despite Brandon Lewis being in his second term as the borough's MP we now call upon him to also act immediately on this issue.'
Cllr Grey said the group were tired of waiting for plans for the upgrade to the drainage system to come to fruition.
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'No one has seen any plans,' she said. 'They say they've allocated the money but they don't know what they're going to do.
'The buck stops with Anglian Water, but the government can push it along.'
The councillors said they were in the position where residents would contact them, but they were unable to give them an answer.
'We want something to tell residents,' Cllr Grey added.
Mitchell Swan is the landlord of a house on Beccles Road. He said: 'I only bought the house at the start of the year but we had a front step put in to try and protect against the flooding. But it feels like anything the home owner does isn't going to be enough.'
He said the damage caused by the flooding was going to cost him around £1000.
In Bradwell, the manager of a community library was left wondering if anything will ever be done after the building was again flooded out.
Manager Peter Harrison said: 'It's a usual thing with us, it's probably happened four or five times. This time, the whole of the inside was flooded from the back to the front.
'Most of the books will be above the floor but the things in the store cupboards, the chances are they will be useless.'
The library was set to be closed by Norfolk County Council in 2003 to save money, but as the council didn't own the building, a determined fundraising team was able to reopen the site.
But then in September 2006 the library was badly hit by flooding. It was the worst hit building in Bradwell with water a foot deep inside. The bottom shelves were ruined and 5,000 books had to be thrown out.
Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis said: 'I share the concerns and frustrations of the local residents of Belton and Bradwell, who have to put up with these flooding issues when there is heavy rainfall. I have met with Anglian Water to discuss the problems and am pushing them to address this matter once and for all.
'I was involved in securing the investment of £2 million to upgrade the water system, and it's clear from these recent events that the upgrade now needs to happen as a matter of priority. I continue to lobby Anglian Water on behalf of local residents to provide details of when these works will take place to rectify this problem. If UKIP spent more time working to get things done and less time issuing press releases, they would probably be more productive, but their past actions in Belton and Bradwell show that they are more words than action.'
An Anglian Water spokesperson said: 'We know how unpleasant flooding can be but on this occasion it appears to be the result of the sheer intensity of the rainfall rather than a system issue - during the rainfall our pumping stations were working as they should, working at full tilt during the rain storm.
'We will continue to work closely with all flood partners including Norfolk County Council and the local highways authority, who are also responsible for surface water drainage, to reduce flood risk wherever possible.
'There is a planned £2m upgrade to our pumping stations at Morton Crescent and Stepshort Road which will be completed by July 2017 and we'll be updating residents and councillors as the plans progress.'
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