Residents stepping up flooding battle

PUBLISHED: 12:28 28 September 2006 | UPDATED: 12:02 04 May 2010

AN Ely residents group has appealed to its county councillor in a bid to save homes from a deluge of sewage water which threatens to flood properties. Residents of the Abbots Way and Prior s Court area say they have complained to Anglian Water for more

AN Ely residents' group has appealed to its county councillor in a bid to save homes from a deluge of sewage water which threatens to flood properties.

Residents of the Abbots Way and Prior's Court area say they have complained to Anglian Water for more than four years about the persistent problem, which sees their back gardens flooded with a foot of run-off water mixed with sewage whenever there is a heavy downpour.

And they fear that on-going development in Ely can only make the situation worse.

Steve Foulger, who represents the residents, said: "The foul water is just an inch away from our back doors at the moment, but nobody is coming out to help us at all - they don't even come to clean the mess up when it floods."

Mr Foulger has turned to Liberal Democrat councillor Simon Higginson, who represents Ely South and West, in the hope something will be done for the residents, many of whom are elderly.

"The elderly people can't get in and out of their doors without wading through contaminated water and it can't be good for them," Mr Foulger said.

Cllr Higginson visited Mr Foulger over the weekend, and said the problem lies with an aluminium drainage cover which rises up and sometimes lifts off because of the water rushing underneath.

"I think it's horrible for all the people there to know that it could happen again at any minute, and the risk is that it's going to get worse over the coming years.

"Mr Foulger is concerned that the level of development will worsen the situation, and he is aggrieved that they've had problems in the area for years, but can't seem to engage Anglian Water about the issue."

Cllr Higginson said he will be pursuing the matter with the Highways Authority and Hereward Housing, which owns a number of properties in the area.

The situation follows extensive investigations into flooding in Ely on the part of the Highways Authority and Anglian Water, which identified problems with the infrastructure in the St John's Road area of the city.

A recent joint statement said both organisations were continuing their investigations.

"We are working closely with the Highways Authority to to see how we can deal with the problem of flash-flooding," an Anglian Water spokeswoman said.

"Although it may appear that nothing is being done, we would like to assure residents that there is a lot of work going on, and we would ask that residents bear with us - we are taking the issue very seriously."

She said Anglian Water engineers dealt with the problems in Abbots Way over the weekend, following a call on Friday, and added that the company had been stretched in recent months because of extreme weather conditions throughout the region.

School vouchers

# SOHAM shoppers collecting Sports for Schools vouchers at Tesco are urged to drop them into the town's branch of the Cambridge Building Society to help local schools. The Ely Standard is also acting as a collection point for the vouchers.

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