AFTER classrooms at a school in Aughton were flooded after the recent spell of heavy rain, MP Rosie Coper slammed the county council for their “lack of urgency” in dealing with the longstanding problem.
Staff at Aughton Town Green Primary have been fighting consistent flooding of the building for years and the school has had to be closed on multiple occasions.
Slassrooms recently and had to remove a dead rat from the school car park.
The problem is believed to be caused by water breaching a culvert that runs under the school grounds after heavy rain.
The school’s headteacher and West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper’s have pleaded to Lancashire County Council to find a permanent solution, with Ms Cooper even raising this with Boris Johnson at Prime Minister’s Questions in February, but she added “so far very little has been done.”
When the Champion last reported on the issue in July, Lancashire County Council said “drainage works to further alleviate the problem at Town Green Primary School have been identified, and the timing of this work is now being finalised.”
Ms Cooper MP said: “I am astounded by the council’s attitude.
“Flooding caused great disruption to the education of pupils, and is now putting their health at risk with flood water washing up dead rats onto the grounds.
“When I raised this issue with the council last year, they reluctantly proposed a range of works that would improve the flow of water.
“Outrageously, the only action they took initially was to instruct private homeowners downstream to clear their section of the culvert!
“As evidenced by the most recent flooding, this has not worked!
“The council promised to undertake pipe improvement work over the summer, but we are now told that the contractor ‘did not get to it’!
“The lack of urgency with which the council are handling this is potentially dangerous and insulting to the pupils”
Rachel Crompton, principal flood risk officer for Lancashire County Council, said: “The repeated and widespread flooding around Town Green is a long-running problem which has affected many people and properties over the years.
“Various investigations have been carried out into the flooding, by both West Lancashire Borough Council and the county council.
"Although we've never been able to find a single solution to all the surface water flooding, we have made various small improvements in the past, and are currently carrying out work within the grounds of Town Green Primary School to ensure the existing drainage system is working as efficiently as it should, and identify whether there are any problems with the pipes which might need further maintenance.
"It is often the case that old streams and watercourses run on private property, and it is the responsibility of these landowners to keep their stretches clear and free-flowing so that they don't cause flooding problems, however they are not always aware of these responsibilities and it is part of our normal business to have to ask residents to carry out essential maintenance.
"Our next step will be to investigate the need for any further measures to alleviate flooding around the village, however we first need to ensure as far as possible that all existing local drainage systems are functioning as well as possible in order to provide the robust evidence which would be needed to make the case for this investment."
Note to newsdesk: The current work at Town Green Primary School is expected to take around 2 weeks, however may take longer if problems with the system are identified in the course of this initial work.