RESIDENTS and councillors in Wanborough have called for more action to be taken by the borough to alleviate flooding problems in the area.

Villagers claim they have been plagued by problems with flooding in the Marsh and Burycroft for years due to private home owners not cleaning their ditches for surface water to flow into.

It is understood during heavy rain, roads are transformed into small streams, making it difficult for people to drive in their cars and walk around.

There have also been reports of raw sewage bubbling up from the pavements at times when water levels are high but Thames Water said this problem had been resolved by the company repairing pipes early this year.

Sally Inskip, of the Marsh said flooding has been affecting her property for 34 years but it has been getting worse in recent months due to people not unblocking their ditches.

“Residents of The Marsh and of Burycroft often have flooding issues when it rains heavily,” said Sally, 63.

“Some of the houses have been flooded in the past and the road floods quite severely at times, especially outside my property. “Part of the problem is that certain landowners do not dig their ditches and therefore the water cannot escape to the River Cole as it should and it backs.”

Swindon Council is the local authority responsible for managing flood risks in the village.

At a Wanborough Flood Group meeting yesterday, Swindon Council’s drainage asset engineer, Simon Masters said while it is the borough’s responsibly to tackle flooding issues it does not have the resources to carry work out.

He said when the Environment Agency was responsible for local flooding, they had teams of trained and experienced staff to enforce the rules but the council does not employ or train anyone especially for the role.

“We don’t have the powers to enforce it,” said Mr Masters. “I can’t comment on what the borough will prioritise in the future. We are a small unitary authority. “ Wanborough’s parish chairman Gary Sumner said he was disappointed with the council’s response to the issue.

“I can understand they have got restrictions on funding,” said Coun Sumner. “The fact is, though, they spent nearly half a million pounds on Haydon Wick’s flood risk scheme and people’s lives in Wanborough are also being affected.”

He said with the Eastern Village Scheme, which could see 8,000 homes being built on floodplains; the borough needs to start taking responsibility for its role.

Anyone with a water course running through their property can learn about action they should be taking to maintain the route.

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