We all need to step up to the plate to sort flooding

Keith Hudson

Keith Hudson

First published in News
Last updated

THE deputy leader of Rochford Council has called on his authority to step up to the plate and deliver a plan to alleviate future flooding problems in the district.

Rayleigh and Hockley were two of the worst-hit areas after flooding caused chaos across south Essex in August.

Many are still homeless and remain confused as to who is responsible for what service in the area.

Residents claim they have been passed from pillar to post when contacting the council, Anglian Water or the Environment Agency, with seemingly no one ready to take responsibility.

Councillor Keith Hudson said the work of councils over the years has become more sophisticated with the introduction of two and three-tier systems sharing responsibility and funding.

He said: “Sharing responsibilities can be a God send, it can also mean that no one takes responsibility, always waiting for the other man to step up to the plate.

“I’m of the opinion this is what has happened with respect to drainage.”

Essex County Council is the lead authority when it comes to flood risk in the district.

Responsibility for maintenance of ditches and drains falls on land owners, the Environment Agency and Anglian Water, but County Hall still oversees what work is done.

Mr Hudson said historically councils were first formed to provide homes and improve welfare for the poor, and to resolve drainage problems that blighted the nation’s health. He now believes it is time to revert back to the duty which has been long ignored.

He said: “We could sit back and point the finger of blame, or we could be proactive and help our residents by undertaking ditch and drain clearing to alleviate what has become one of the most pressing, traumatic and publicly aware problems that we are all faced with.

“We should step up to the plate where others fail to deliver. Ask those poor souls who had their homes flooded and those of us who spent hours trying to get past flooded roads in order to earn our living.

“I believe it is one of the fundamental duties of councils and it is a duty that has long been ignored.

“What we are talking about here is the need to return the responsibility of drainage to the local council. It is a service, responsibility and duty that is best dealt with locally as there can be no substitute for local knowledge.

“We know our local priorities better than those who do not dwell in the Rochford district.”

Mr Hudson’s proposals have largely been met positively by other members, but he added that ideas put forward would have to be funded.

Comments (4)

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9:22am Mon 6 Jan 14

Old Southendian says...

Some good points well made Mr Hudson, but what we don't need is a history lesson about Councils development. We need action.
In my area (not Rochford or Hockley) we spent about 5 months during the relatively dry summer with water pouring out of the drainage system and flooding the road with continual denials by various authorities that it was their responsibility.
Our local knowledge was ignored. We eventually got satisfaction and many years of roots and debris cleared from the drains and the rather obviously blocked gullies.
Sharing responsibilities may be a God send in some cases, but a one stop shop might have been more helpful.
Some good points well made Mr Hudson, but what we don't need is a history lesson about Councils development. We need action. In my area (not Rochford or Hockley) we spent about 5 months during the relatively dry summer with water pouring out of the drainage system and flooding the road with continual denials by various authorities that it was their responsibility. Our local knowledge was ignored. We eventually got satisfaction and many years of roots and debris cleared from the drains and the rather obviously blocked gullies. Sharing responsibilities may be a God send in some cases, but a one stop shop might have been more helpful. Old Southendian
  • Score: 1

10:47am Mon 6 Jan 14

maxell says...

I understand that RDC have already taken 1/2 the liability for the flooding of rochford recently, and so they should , but what can be done, well the councils should not be blinkered by development (106 agreements) , when passing planning applications, When deciding on the application for the airport terminal extension, an old application date was used, the reason for this appears to be that they had already been notified by anglian water that the drainage system was at 100% capacity. The council was fully aware of this but still passed the application, and also a third application for a further terminal extension, this in my opinion is negligent, the new st Lawrence way road has a new set of pumps, yet they cant cope , the drainage on the airport must come into question as on the same road there is a stream of clay being washed out of the bank by ground water. What worse is the clay is going straight down a drain this will with doubt block the drain, hence flooding, one of the problems that one always has is getting proper information or even truthful information. In my opinion one of the reason why rochford flooded was to do with the fire service , not running a co ordinated food operation , I spoke with the the fire service chaps that were fighting to save the horse and groom, but what they were unaware of was the that other teams pumping out further up stream were making the problem worse, the rayleigh weir was flooded 1000s of gallons of water was pumped in to the nearby brook that travels towards rochford and into the roach. hence thousands of additional gallons literally being pumped into rochford. maybe the reason why people cant get to the bottom of what is happening here, could the fire service be sighted as a possible cause. Not if nobody find s out.
what can be done well the weir at the mill is set at the height it is so as to stop the tidal flow flooding back in to rochford, the area between rochford and the mill used to be a huge lagoon that was able to expand with high water volumes, this is silted up and has just been left, the weir at the mill will probably need raising in the near future as all the spoil from cross-link london is being dumped on to potton island and is contributing to the silting up of the roach , should you visit the stambridge mill area at normal tide height you will find the quay about a foot under water. this is a complete shambles, I dont think that rochford has the ability to take something on on this scale , but by having control it could mean that they would be able to cover their own backs leaving mr cutmore more room to spurt more total rubbish about protecting your own homes from flood with sand bags while all the time the council continues to pass application upon application with no regard, we would not have worry about having to build dams around our homes, if the councils were to listen to the hard professional evidence that is put in-font of them, I have a letter that states that basically a development can be passed regardless of drainage capacity and that it is the responsibility of anglian water to provide capacity, what sort of planning system allows councils to run a show like this, then offer very little or no support to affected people. disgraceful. mY opinion as always.
I understand that RDC have already taken 1/2 the liability for the flooding of rochford recently, and so they should , but what can be done, well the councils should not be blinkered by development (106 agreements) , when passing planning applications, When deciding on the application for the airport terminal extension, an old application date was used, the reason for this appears to be that they had already been notified by anglian water that the drainage system was at 100% capacity. The council was fully aware of this but still passed the application, and also a third application for a further terminal extension, this in my opinion is negligent, the new st Lawrence way road has a new set of pumps, yet they cant cope , the drainage on the airport must come into question as on the same road there is a stream of clay being washed out of the bank by ground water. What worse is the clay is going straight down a drain this will with doubt block the drain, hence flooding, one of the problems that one always has is getting proper information or even truthful information. In my opinion one of the reason why rochford flooded was to do with the fire service , not running a co ordinated food operation , I spoke with the the fire service chaps that were fighting to save the horse and groom, but what they were unaware of was the that other teams pumping out further up stream were making the problem worse, the rayleigh weir was flooded 1000s of gallons of water was pumped in to the nearby brook that travels towards rochford and into the roach. hence thousands of additional gallons literally being pumped into rochford. maybe the reason why people cant get to the bottom of what is happening here, could the fire service be sighted as a possible cause. Not if nobody find s out. what can be done well the weir at the mill is set at the height it is so as to stop the tidal flow flooding back in to rochford, the area between rochford and the mill used to be a huge lagoon that was able to expand with high water volumes, this is silted up and has just been left, the weir at the mill will probably need raising in the near future as all the spoil from cross-link london is being dumped on to potton island and is contributing to the silting up of the roach , should you visit the stambridge mill area at normal tide height you will find the quay about a foot under water. this is a complete shambles, I dont think that rochford has the ability to take something on on this scale , but by having control it could mean that they would be able to cover their own backs leaving mr cutmore more room to spurt more total rubbish about protecting your own homes from flood with sand bags while all the time the council continues to pass application upon application with no regard, we would not have worry about having to build dams around our homes, if the councils were to listen to the hard professional evidence that is put in-font of them, I have a letter that states that basically a development can be passed regardless of drainage capacity and that it is the responsibility of anglian water to provide capacity, what sort of planning system allows councils to run a show like this, then offer very little or no support to affected people. disgraceful. mY opinion as always. maxell
  • Score: 3

11:58am Mon 6 Jan 14

Kim Gandy says...

For God's sake, less waffle and more action... starting with the huge pool of water that seems to have taken up permanent residence on Rayleigh Weir roundabout.
For God's sake, less waffle and more action... starting with the huge pool of water that seems to have taken up permanent residence on Rayleigh Weir roundabout. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 0

6:56pm Mon 6 Jan 14

Living the La Vida Legra says...

Mr Hudson your a c ock All you are is a buck passer
Empty gullys and ditches. How the F uck did you end up in charge of a council The leader of the council has to ask other people how to run something that perhaps he should have just a bit of knowledge on after all this is want most councils do routinely
Mr Hudson your a c ock All you are is a buck passer Empty gullys and ditches. How the F uck did you end up in charge of a council The leader of the council has to ask other people how to run something that perhaps he should have just a bit of knowledge on after all this is want most councils do routinely Living the La Vida Legra
  • Score: 1

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