Scathing attack on Yorkshire Water

FILEY councillors launch-ed a scathing attack on Yorkshire Water at a meeting this week as some residents vented their frustration in the wake of last Wednesday's downpour.

According to flood working group chairman Mike Cockerill, no more than about 20mm of rain fell, yet the intensity of the storm was enough to lift manhole covers and pump raw sewage onto the streets.

Cllr Cockerill said: “For many years I and others have worked with other agencies and attempted to explain Yorkshire Water’s policy to local residents and the national flood funding system.

“But once again we experienced raw sewage on the footpaths and in gardens and dwellings. Yet we are told by Yorkshire Water that the situation at Muston Road ‘is not a sufficient priority and is not being progressed at the moment’.

“To me, this situation is intolerable. They should talk to the residents who live in constant fear. There’s no confidence in Yorkshire Water and their lack of action with regard to the preparation and implementation of a scheme to reduce flooding at the bottom of Muston Road.”

Cllr Cockerill said it was “very worrying” that flooding was also experienced at some of the properties in Wharfedale that were supposed to be protected by Yorkshire Water’s recent upgrade of pipes and sewers.

He said the next meeting of the working group would be brought forward and called on representatives of the utility company to “provide some answers”.

He said: “We’ve two major obstacles – one is the process at the national level to secure resources and the other is Yorkshire Water.”

Filey mayor Cllr Marion Wright said: “I think we should talk to the people in charge. We’re fighting a losing battle at the moment. Someone, somewhere has to be shown up for their inadequacy because I feel that Yorkshire Water has turned its back on Filey.

“We’re getting the flak, but it’s because people are so upset and angry at what’s happening in Filey that they’re getting angry with each other.”

Cllr David Murton said he blamed Yorkshire Water and the Environment Agency for giving the green light to major new developments in the town and their drainage schemes.

Councillors once again called on Yorkshire Water to honour its pledge to hold a public event in Filey and will invite directors of the company to a face-to-face meeting with local representatives.

A spokeswoman for Yorkshire Water said the company did plan to hold a customer drop-in, but were told by the council to put the event on hold until there was more detail on what action was to be taken in Muston Road.

She added: “Yorkshire Water has to prioritise investment across the region and is looking at what it can do to help play its part in reducing flooding in the area. However, the company must emphasise that a large part of the issue in this area is related to surface water flooding and all the agencies including Filey Town Council need to get together to look at what needs to be done.”

She said the company had committed to attending the next meeting of the Filey Flood Working Group to explain its position.