Let’s sue council for negligence over flooding’

PUBLISHED: 13:32 31 August 2006 | UPDATED: 14:49 12 May 2010

A MAN who is the victim of severe floods vows is to sue Cambridgeshire County Council for negligence. Julian Guttridge, of High Street, Melbourn, is frustrated because everytime the town suffers the effects of floods, he claims the County Council has done

A MAN who is the victim of severe floods vows is to sue Cambridgeshire County Council for negligence.

Julian Guttridge, of High Street, Melbourn, is frustrated because everytime the town suffers the effects of floods, he claims the County Council has done nothing to rectify the problem.

At a meeting of Melbourn Parish Council, he said: "Let's just sue the county council. It hasn't done anything for years. Everytime it rains the road is flooded because all the drains are blocked right to the top and there isn't a decent capacity in the pipes.

"It's have a devaluating affect on our property and I don't see why we should claim on our insurance for clear negligence."

Mr Guttridge has approached Cambridgeshire Highways but he said it claims it has lost records stating when, where and how the drains in the High Street were cleaned.

Mr Guttridge is concerned that if there is not any evidence, there will not be grounds for a case.

He therefore, believes there is going to be an extensive fight in order to rectify the problem.

He said: "It's not the fact the council don't want to do anything to help, they just don't want to spend money.

"But if we can put enough pressure on the council I think it will work and we will win the case."

Claire McComb, of High Street, Melbourn has already raised issues regarding flooding with South Cambridgeshire District Council.

She said: "We need to make a noise. I'm sick of loosing another carpet and I now have asthma which I think is down to the flooding."

Ian Baker of the High Street found tree roots in the drains near The Moor.

He said: "If they were cleaned like they should have been, would all the people have had the psychological trauma they had?"

Highways supervisor, Mike Cooper, said: "We have cleaned the drains and found there were some restrictions and blockages but they have been cleaned out down The Moor.

"But if residents would like to look at the records stating exactly when and where they were cleaned they need to send us a written application before we can make the records available.

"In the mean time, we are up-sizing the drainage system and have already done part of it in the High Street. We are also going to increase the capacity of the pipes and this is scheduled to be done in October between Water Lane and the traffic lights.

"The storm we had was a very severe one and there were incidents like this throughout East Anglia. The drainage systems aren't designed for such severe events."

Mr Cooper believes the significant increase in residential developments in Melbourn has also contributed to the severe flooding.

He said: "It has had a significant impact and the planners at South Cambs District Council need to seriously consider the implications."

Residents will be raising their concerns at a public meeting on September 25 at 8pm. It will be held at Melbourn Community Centre, Vicarage Close.

Avril Mellor, parish clerk, said the council is also willing to organise a meeting between the public, the council and highways if residents show enough interest.

She said: "We will do everything in our power to help because we don't want people to suffer.

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