A COUPLE who have been flooded out of their home twice in 11 months are worried not enough is being done to stop it happening again.

Rayleigh couple Vincent and Janet Barringer have only just moved back into their Victoria Avenue home after last month’s flooding.

The latest inundation came less than a year after flash floods caused £100,000 of damage to their house.

The Barringers spoke out angrily after joining other residents at a Rochford Council-run “flood forum” to hear council officials and Anglian Water explain what was being done to prevent further flooding.

The Environment Agency failed to send anyone to Tuesday’s meeting, having failed to show up when the session was originally scheduled, in July.

On that occasion, it pulled out claiming its staff were too busy dealing with flooding on Canvey and as a result, the meeting was postponed.

Mr Barringer said he had been unconvinced by what he had heard from county council and water company representatives.

He said: “The district council and its officers were very good.

They really probed the people from the county council, including Essex Highways.

“They seemed to know what was causing the issues and had been out to see people.

“However, the other authorities only gave vague answers.

They said they were trying to identify hotspots which needed more maintenance work, but they didn’t seem to know much about what was going on.”

Highways officials said workmen were in the process of clearing ditches, gullies and culverts.

They were also and also using cameras to inspect the inside of pipes suspected to be blocked and looking at ways to provide more regular maintenance than the present annual checks.

Rochford Council leader Terry Cutmore, who chaired the meeting, said: “We are not the sort of authority which will just step back and hope others will carry out the necessary work.

“We wanted to bring all the agencies together to try to ensure people’s homes weren’t flooded again.

“I’m pleased to say a lot of positive work has been done.

“It was also helpful to hear from the residents who have been directly affected. I really do feel for them.”

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “We are very keen to be part of the forum and are in contact with the head of planning to explore any action for us which came from the meeting.

“Although we initially accepted the invitation, unfortunately ,when the date was changed, we were unable to attend and sent our apologies.”

Rochford Council has earmarked £18,000 to help deal with surface water drainage problems, with a similar sum promised by Essex County Council.

Campaigner Linda’s angry words

A CAMPAIGNER embroiled inaHigh Court battle to stop thousands more homes being builtin the Rochford district fears the area will keep on being flooded.

Linda Kendall, who is challenging Rochford Council’s proposalsto allow nearly 3,000 newhouses on green belt land between nowand 2025, was also at the the flood forummeeting.

She said: “All I haveheard is a lot of hot air. This is people’s lives you are dealing with.

“The townof Rayleigh has been here since the 14th century. I wanted to ask the council what it thought had changed to cause the flooding.”

She said Rochford council’s deputy leader, Keith Hudson had admitted houses should not have been built in BlowerClose, Rayleigh yet the council still wanted to see thousands more on green belt land.

Her comments were applauded by others at the meeting, but council leader Terry Cutmore dismissed them, saying: “This forum is about alleviating localised surface water flooding, not making political points.”