Flood fury of pub landlady

PUBLISHED: 10:26 12 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:59 11 May 2010

NEIGHBOURS battle to repel the water at the Queen Adelaide. 3325DW009

NEIGHBOURS battle to repel the water at the Queen Adelaide. 3325DW009

A PUB landlady has accused a council of not wanting to help local businesses after they refused to intervene when her pub was threatened by flooding. Michelle Hunter, landlady of the Queen Adelaide pub in Croydon, spent six hours on Tuesday repelling wate

A PUB landlady has accused a council of not wanting to help local businesses after they refused to intervene when her pub was threatened by flooding.

Michelle Hunter, landlady of the Queen Adelaide pub in Croydon, spent six hours on Tuesday repelling water that was running off nearby hills towards the rear of the pub.

When she contacted South Cambridgeshire District Council to ask them to provide sandbags, they turned down her request. She also contacted Cambridge Water, and the Environment Agency, neither of which was able to offer any assistance.

She said: "South Cambs District Council do nothing to help local businesses.

"If I had been in a domestic property they would have given me sandbags, but because it was my business they wouldn't come out.

"We pay business rates, then pay them extra for waste disposal, but when you want some help from them they don't do anything.

"All I got when I phoned the council was someone who said they sympathised with my problems.

"Well sympathy wasn't much use to me - you sometimes get the feeling they'd rather you just disappeared."

Water usually flows off the hills into a ditch running along the back of the Queen Adelaide's gardens.

However, the increased rainfall, together with melting snow, meant the water took a different path.

With the help of friends and neighbours, Michelle and the pub's staff managed to stop the buildings from flooding.

She said: "We have a pump which usually diverts the water away from the pub, but we had to borrow a second one from a friend because there was so much water.

"And several of us were brushing water away from the doors all afternoon yesterday.

"Hopefully the worst of it is over now."

A spokesman for South Cambridgeshire District Council said: "In exceptional circumstances SCDC will endeavour, where possible, to provide sandbags or offer other assistance as required, to residents whose homes are either at imminent risk of flooding, or have been flooded in the past.

"Business premises are not covered by this service. Commercial premises are responsible for carrying out their own risk assessments for major incidents such as flooding, and for putting the appropriate preventative measures in place to protect their property, including ordering their own supplies of sandbags or other flood protection equipment such as door boards or airbrick covers."

The spokesman added that local authorities had no statutory duty to provide sandbags to domestic or business properties, but that maintained a "limited stock" of sandbags and would make every effort to assist the local community where possible.

"Residents in South Cambridgeshire are asked to take action to protect their own properties as much as possible, especially where there is a history of flooding at the property in the past," she said.

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