Drains clearance is a shambles, says flood warden

Gullies clearing in Foxton
Gullies clearing in Foxton

A flood warden in the district has been left so incensed by the poor quality of drains clearance in a village that he is offering to pay for training to do the job himself.

Foxton flood warden Richard Billington has sent a list of criticisms over the state of the drains and gullies in Foxton to Leicestershire County Council, which has a statutory responsible for the matter.

He has also written to Harborough MP Sir Edward Garnier to raise awareness of the problem.

It comes after volunteers found trailer loads of gunk in gullies last month.

Mr Billington, his wife Debbie, two Explorer Scout volunteers and an elderly villager removed three trailer loads of grit and debris from three gullies in Main Street on February 9.

Main Street was flooded during the huge storm which hit the district last July.

Mr Billington said: “Had thorough cleaning been carried out as often as the council suggests, then the entry and exit pipes to the gullies would not be so choked with years of accumulated roots, grit and debris.”

He added: “I am so incensed by what is happening that I am prepared to pay for my training to use a gully cleansing tanker, a Tarmac spreader and road roller.

“There are thousands of capable, fit men and woman like me who are ready to step up to the plate.”

A county council spokesman said: “Over the past year, we’ve significantly increased the resources available to deal with blocked gullies and have brought in new gully emptiers, a specialist investigation vehicle and dedicated teams to clear gullies, which has helped to reduce our response time.

“We understand residents’ concerns but would always advise anyone who is aware of a road problem to call us.

“This enables us to identify the problem and provide a timely response.”