MP demands action over ‘flood-risk’ blocked drains

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“We are a thunderstorm away from a flood.”

That’s the message from Tim Foulds, a flood warden in Mytholmroyd, who is calling for more to be done to unblock drains in the village.

Mr Foulds, who lives at Elphaborough Close, believes Calderdale Council is not doing enough.

His message comes in the wake of heavy rain two weeks ago, which caused surface water flooding across the valley.

Mr Foulds said: “They need to just do what they are meant to be doing - do what we pay our council tax for.

“We are always going to flood, but a lot of surface water flooding can be avoided by having drains cleared.”

He says he was so frustrated by the lack of action, he invited Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker for a walkabout to highlight the issues.

Mr Whittaker raised concerns about what he saw.

“I think [the problem] is bigger than what I saw.

“Elphaborough Close came very close to being evacuated because of surface water flooding.”

He said on one road - Hall Bank Lane - he saw around 20 blocked drains.

“It’s a massive issue. The Environment Agency has done the catchment plan and the council is not doing its bit,” Mr Whittaker said.

He added that he believed that some drains had not been cleared since the Boxing Day floods.

He said: “We need to be asking the leader, ‘who is accountable for this?’

“This is basic maintenance that is not being done, which the council is 100 per cent responsible for.”

Mr Whittaker said enough resources are not being targeted at the problem and the council should reprioritise some of the work it is doing.

Calderdale Council’s Head of Highways, Steven Lee, said drains and adopted gullies are routinely cleared and that after heavy rain on November 21, extra teams were sent to flood-prone areas.

He added that works have continued and by the end of the week, gully cleaning at Elphaborough Close, New Road, Stocks Avenue, Thrush Hill, Brearley Lane, Coppy Nook Lane and Hall Bank Lane would be complete.

Mr Lee urged people to report any blocked gullied through the council’s website.