Rugby's flooding problems to be re-examined by councillors after concerns that 2009 report was not acted on

Councillors discussed the issue earlier this week

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Rugby’s flooding problems are to be re-examined by councillors after they admitted that recommendations put forward 12 years ago had not been carried out.

A notice of motion from Cllr Carolyn Robbins (Con, Coton and Boughton) asking for a plan to manage flooding across the area was considered at this week’s March 9 Rugby Borough Council scrutiny committee.

The motion, which was seconded by Cllr Derek Poole (Con, Woolston and the Lawfords) said: “This council recognises the increase in flooding in the borough and the probability that this will continue to increase in severity as global warming and rainfall become more prevalent.

“It is essential that new build homes and local facilities are protected from future flooding and that flood plains are developed to cope with the increase. This is demonstrated by the facilities at the Elliott's Field shopping centre and the good use of the car park to accommodate flooding from the River Avon and the River Swift.

“We ask that this issue is reviewed by the scrutiny committee, looking at the way in which flooding in the borough is managed and how this can be improved. A report then be brought to cabinet and council for consideration.”

Cllr Tom Mahoney (Lab, Benn), who chaired this week’s committee meeting, said the matter had been looked at in the past and questioned what was done on the back of the findings.

He said: “My plan is to pass this on to the planning strategy working party - because much of it is to do with planning - and that we believe that the recommendations from the 2009 report are still valid and should be followed up. It should be scrutinised and they should report back to us.

“I also would like to check on which of those recommendations actually have been implemented, I don’t believe that many of them have.”

Nearly 100 areas of flooding were identified as part of the original investigation including a number around Long Lawford and the A428. Among the recommendations made by councillors in 2009 was that an emergency pack be sent to parish councils and that officers from various agencies involved in drainage and flooding met quarterly to discuss work schedules.

Councillors supported Cllr Mahoney’s suggestion with Cllr Tony Gillias (Con, Revel and Binley Woods) adding: “I can't recall any correspondence to parish councils that I attend as to the issues surrounding their communities regarding flooding. It is a major topic and has to be gone into in great depth.”

Cllr Maggie O’Rourke (Lab, Benn) said: “I think it makes perfect sense when all that work has gone in already.”