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LETTER: I disagree with council leader on sandbags

Opinion

Opinion

I am disappointed that Councillor Bedford does not agree that the safeguarding of homes and businesses in the Borough should be a council priority, especially in a Civil Emergency.

The local authority has a legal duty to help as a Category 1 Responder under The Civil Contingencies Act 2004.

The borough council’s response prior to the flooding event was very poor!

That is not to criticise those who turned out to help on the night and those involved in the clear up operation.

I personally received a message from the Environment Agency indicating what was going to happen – more than 24 hrs before it did!

The provision of sand and bags is a well known method of holding back the water in a low level flooding scenario. That’s why folk in Norfolk (who I understand ironically received sandbags supplied from Lincolnshire) were seen on the TV news, frantically filling sandbags on the beach!

If bags and a lorry load of sand had been made available in places such as Tunnard Street Car park - with suitable radio and street broadcast warnings – I am sure people would have filled them and worked together, to try to reduce the risk of flooding – not just the subsequent clear up operation.

How does Councillor Bedford expect the elderly, infirm or those without transport, to collect sand and bags from builders merchants?

The council’s own advice regarding sandbags - posted on their website 5th December 2013 - was still there on 14th July 2014

“For the avoidance of doubt, in a flooding incident, Boston Borough Council does not supply sandbags, neither empty nor filled, to any resident or business in Boston borough as the responsibility for safeguarding homes and businesses lies with the owner.

We are advising that members of the public get these from local building merchants, Travis and Perkins, B&Q and Jacksons, Jewsons are out of stock until tomorrow (Friday).”

I understand that there were properties where sandbags did actually provide protection – including the medical centre in South Street.

The borough council could and should have done more to reduce the risk of flooding in Boston.

Councillor Bedford you have done nothing to reassure the public of a better response next time!

John Marshall

Kirton

 

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