Statement regarding recent flooding across Stockport borough

Speaking of the recent flooding incidents within Stockport and the national-level incident at Whaley Bridge that threatened the borough along the River Goyt, Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Stockport Council, said: “Concerns have been expressed by residents about the extensive recent flooding in various parts of the borough. The usual rainfall for all of July fell in just a few hours last Wednesday and these almost biblical storms affected many areas, particularly the A555, parts of Romiley, Woodley, Cheadle Hulme and Bramhall.

“As elected members, we have been kept well informed by senior officers of the activity undertaken by the council and our partner agencies, particularly the police, fire service and Environment Agency, in response to the flooding. We have also heard many reports from residents thanking the council for their swift action. Alongside this, the threat of a dam burst in Whaley Bridge, with potential to cause a tidal flood all along the River Goyt, saw the army being deployed in Marple in case an evacuation had to be arranged. Modelling suggested that in a worst-case situation, the flood from the dam could impact the Merseyway area of the town centre.

“I am satisfied that the council and its partners did everything they could in response to the dual emergencies they faced over the past week. However, I am concerned about several issues where previous problems seem to have recurred from other recent floods.

“The repeated closure of a new bypass is particularly embarrassing. I note that the main problem last time was the failure of the pumps along the old section of the A555 to clear sufficient water, and that new pumps have been procured and were nearing installation when the current flood happened, and I am assured that this work will be completed as a priority. It is unacceptable for the road to be closed by rainfall in the way it has and we will be seeking assurances that the drainage is fit for purpose once the new pumps are installed.

“It is also unacceptable to hear stories of residents reporting blocked grids several months ago, for apparently no action to be taken by the council, and for these same blocked grids being identified as possibly having contributed to localised flooding. We will be seeking further assurances that all proactive measures to reduce flooding risks are being taken across the borough.

“Officers have already agreed that a detailed enquiry into this major incident needs to be undertaken, reporting initially to the council’s Scrutiny committees, and we await the report with keen interest. We expect the council to take all necessary steps to do their best to ensure that residents and properties are not put at risk in the same way in future.”

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