Councillor Martin Cook Gainsborough ward, Ipswich Borough Council
Residents woke up to another flood on Clapgate Lane this morning. This is a long running issue that has been reported many times over, but Suffolk County Council, who are responsible for our roads and pavements, have failed to address the problem.
Residents are tired of the excuses and deserve a clear, time-bound plan to resolve the flooding once and for all. I will continue to push Conservative-run Suffolk County Council on this until we see Clapgate Lane receiving the attention it deserves.
Clapgate Lane Timeline:
7 October 2020 – A resident reports flooding to Suffolk County Council using their Highways Reporting system. Status “Closed”.
28 January 2021 – A second resident reports flooding to Suffolk County Council using their Highways Reporting system. Status “Under Investigation”.
8 May 2021 – A third resident reports flooding to Suffolk County Council using their Highways Reporting system.
11 May 2021 – Suffolk County Council clear the third resident’s report with a note “Suffolk Highways updated customer”.
19 May 2021 – I report flooding on Clapgate Lane to Suffolk County Council – https://www.fixmystreet.com/report/2736985
20 May 2021 – Email update from Suffolk County Council “Please be advised that the work required to resolve the problem cannot be done as part of routine maintenance such as cleansing or jetting. We have therefore transferred your report to our specialist drainage team who will update you on what will happen next with your report. This should within a few days but in busy times, it could take up to 20 working days. Thank you.”
26 May 2021 – Tom Hunt MP writes to Suffolk County Council about flooding.
14 June 2021 – Tom Hunt MP announces he has received assurances from Suffolk County Council that there is a plan to address the problem, but that they don’t yet have confirmed dates.
15 June 2021 – Update on Suffolk County Council’s Highways Reporting System, status Under Investigation – “We prioritise remedial works based upon their impact, any property flooding and risk to highway users – works at some lower risk locations will take longer to solve. This location is not currently assessed to be of the highest priority for works and we apologise for the ongoing nuisance and inconvenience. We will continue to monitor the location as part of our routine inspections.”
16 June 2021 – Email update from Suffolk County Council after I phoned in to clarify whether anything is being done: “Although we would like to deal with all cases of flooding immediately, in recent years we have experienced wet winters and more frequent heavy rainfall events and we currently have a very long list of known flooding sites which far outstrips our resources. Therefore, we must prioritise the sites to work on based upon the impact of the flood waters.
I regret to inform you that the issue you have raised does not fall into any of the priorities shown below and therefore we are unlikely to be able to undertake any repair or improvement work at this location in the foreseeable future unless an opportunity arises, for example if there are other major highway works in the vicinity or additional resources become available. However, we will continue to monitor the location as part of our routine inspections and undertake routine maintenance.
We realise this is disappointing, and we apologise for the ongoing nuisance and inconvenience, but please be assured your issue has been recorded and we may be able to act if an opportunity arises.”
17 June 2021 – Bad flooding again after overnight rain.