Flood of dumping
MANY readers will be aware of the flooding that occurs in Hilton whenever there is a very heavy storm. Recent building in Papworth has increased the run-off towards Hilton, but there are other factors. A survey of Hall Green Brook by members of Fenstanton
MANY readers will be aware of the flooding that occurs in Hilton whenever there is a very heavy storm. Recent building in Papworth has increased the run-off towards Hilton, but there are other factors.
A survey of Hall Green Brook by members of Fenstanton Parish Council discovered a dumped washing machine but since then I have discovered a lot more; one supermarket trolley, a road diversion sign, a length of iron railing and a section of corrugated iron, a car wheel and a lorry wheel complete with tyre, one rainwater barrel, a roll of chicken wire and a garden tub. All this was in a half-mile section of the brook. Everything that I could lift was removed.
A local farmer told me that last year he had to use his farm machinery to remove a sodden, and therefore very heavy, three-piece suite. I fear that the imminent closure of the recycling centre at Brampton will result in more dumping and more flooding.
However, there is something else that makes a disproportionate contribution to flooding and it is easily corrected - brambles. They grow quite rapidly and then catch tree branches and other debris which create small dams that get bigger and bigger.
The half-mile section of brook from Fenstanton to the Hilton parish boundary is the responsibility of more than one organisation, unfortunately. Part is the responsibility of the Environment Agency and the rest appears to be the responsibility of the district council. Getting either of these organisations to act in a timely and responsible manner seems to be an uphill task.
In November, 2001, Hilton Parish Council prepared a 19-page report that included four pages of actions, which seem largely to have been ignored.
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Unfortunately the Environment Agency is short of money. DEFRA is in serious trouble over agricultural payments, and the financial difficulties of HDC are well known. Whenever large-scale new building is proposed, money is set aside under S106 but it is generally reserved for school places and the like.
Flood prevention seems to be a poor relation. As a result, many inhabitants of Hilton and a few in Fenstanton are likely to suffer further flooding.
COLIN SAUNDERSON, St Ives Liberal Democrats, Cedar Road, St Ives