Fears ‘appalling’ clean-up of drains in St Neots could lead to flash floods

Fears ‘appalling’ clean-up of drains in St Neots could lead to flash floods that happened in August this year. Picture...

Fears ‘appalling’ clean-up of drains in St Neots could lead to flash floods that happened in August this year. Picture: SUSAN A SANGSTER - Credit: Archant

Concerns have been raised over the “appalling” clean-up of drainage gullies in St Neots after flash floods hit the town in summer.

Fears ‘appalling’ clean-up of drains in St Neots could lead to flash floods. Picture: TIM WYLIE

Fears ‘appalling’ clean-up of drains in St Neots could lead to flash floods. Picture: TIM WYLIE - Credit: Archant

Leaves, silt, and debris are still causing blockages in the drains on Huntingdon Street.

Businesses fear it could lead to further flash floods – despite Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) resurfacing the area after it was flooded on August 16.

It is also claimed a portal set up on the council’s website to report issues to highways was “closed” after a number of residents logged complaints over the drainage.

One business owner in the town said: “Many of the highway gullies in the town are silted up due to neglect.


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“This has reduced the town’s capacity to deal with flash floods and heavy rain locally.

“This is not acceptable as CCC have a statutory duty to ensure the highways gullies are kept cleared of debris.

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“Gullies have also been flagged up as problematical by the public and reported using the CCC highways portal have been closed and deleted off the portal without any action being taken.

“There are two gullies on Huntingdon Street, the first silted up with tarmac overspill still in situ and a side inlet gulley sealed by the tarmac due to not being adjusted during the works.

“This is pure negligence for this to be left in this state.”

Cllr Derek Giles said he had notified CCC and called for them to urgently investigate.

In correspondence to the business owner, he said: “I have seen the result of the resurfacing of Huntingdon Street here in St Neots and to be honest I was appalled by the standard of work around the edges and in and around the gullies.

“As a result of the resurfacing, there is evidence of tarmac actually in many of the gullies.

A Cambridgeshire County Council spokesperson said: “We’re aware of the issues raised by Cllr Giles, our highways crew have cleaned the drains on the High Street, St Neots and will move onto Huntingdon Street, St Neots in the next few days. They have also arranged for all the drains across St Neots to be emptied before the end of January.

“We’re looking into how a number of customer reports were removed from the online reporting system and trying to retrieve them so the work can be carried out.

“With regards to the resurfacing we are aware of some issues following completion of the work and are working with our contractor to resolve and ensure they are not repeated on future resurfacing schemes.”

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