'It’s not fair to leave residents with such anxiety every time it rains' 

Flooding in Buckden on Friday June 18 

Residents in Buckden tackle floods earlier this year - is it too long to wait until 2022? - Credit: Catherine Keating

Blocked drains should be cleaned as a “priority” urge residents – as county council bosses say they are “determined to increase the county’s resilience to flooding”. 

Last week, it was revealed that Cambridgeshire County Council would be cleaning all blocked drains, gullies and culverts in Huntingdonshire by March next year. 

Thousands of drains have already been cleaned across the county as part of a “comprehensive drain clearing programme” that is already underway. 

But quite simply, residents are concerned that if drains in their areas aren’t cleaned for another six-months - then it could be too late. 

MORE: Thousands of drains cleared but residents still 'live in fear' of flooding

Commenting on our flooding post on social media, Tracey Pell said: “The drains should have been made a priority the week after the first floods earlier this year. 

“Some of the residents in Buckden still aren’t back in their homes after the flooding before Christmas. And yet they’ve had to fight to save their homes from flooding again several times since then! It’s just not good enough! 

The Hunts Post 'Fight the Floods' campaign.

The Hunts Post 'Fight the Floods' campaign. - Credit: Archant

“The drains are all root bound and cannot cope with the extreme downpours we’ve had of late.  

“It’s not fair to leave residents with such anxiety every time it rains!” 

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Sarah Barker added: “What are these people to do over the winter? Hope and pray?! 

Residents in Buckden launched a petition in to get action over blocked drains, as seasonal showers meant areas of the village flooded again. 

Buckden, along with Bluntisham, is on the list for drain clearing in the New Year, with a full drainage survey of the gullies and system in Buckden undertaken in July. 

Cllr Peter McDonald, chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s highways and transport committee, said: "The council is taking an innovative approach to identifying which areas of the drainage system need cleaning through technology from KaarbonTech which allows us to assess the performance of the system. This helps us to plan which work should be prioritised.  

“We are determined to increase the county’s resilience to flooding and are working alongside a number of agencies to develop our management of the drainage systems going forward.

"But we also need landowners to help us by keeping their ditches and drains clear.” 

The Met Office advises that temperatures are forecast to be “milder than average” this winter, with the wettest months set, as usual, for January and February.

Drain cleaning programme:  

  • A1123, Bluntisham - cleaning to be completed between January to March, 2022. 

  • Buckden High Street - cleaning carried out last December to January, with the next works to take place between January to March, 2022. The gullies and culvert under the road were also cleaned as part of the investigation on the drainage system following the flooding.  

  • Silver Street, Buckden -  works to be completed between January to March, 2022. Gullies and culverts also cleaned under the road.  

  • Offord Cluny - cleaning took place in July. 

  • Warren Road/ Needingworth Road/St Audrey Lane, St Ives - cleaning due to take place in the next month.