Appeal for more grid cleaning to alleviate potential flooding risk

FLOODING concerns across Saddleworth have prompted calls for greater local authority frequency of grids and gully cleaning.

Residents in Kenworthy Gardens, Uppermill were put on high alert last month after the River Tame reached worryingly high levels.

Oldham Council staff visited the development and contingency plans were drawn up to evacuate householders.Fortunately, that worst case scenario wasn’t needed. But Parish Councillors have asked what information Oldham Council uses to review the impact of housebuilding across Saddleworth on flooding, particularly on greenfield sites and with regards to surface run-off and pressure on existing drainage systems.

Cllr Graham Sheldon said: “There are grids in Grasscroft and Greenfield solid with silt and they have been for over 12 months.

“I understand grids or gullies are done once every 12 months, but I am not exactly sure this is happening.

“I don’t think this is enough on some particular lanes or roads which have got a lot of tree coverage.”

Cllr Richard Darlington, chair of the environment committee added: “There are certain vulnerable gullies that need to be cleared more than once a year.

“Perhaps we need to map them between us so we can positive point to the council. Can we ask councillors to identify gullies that need to be cleaned?”

Cllr Max Woodvine said: “Can we ask the borough to send letters to residents informing them when their streets’ gullies and grids would be unblocked so they can make sure they can move their cars?”

Cllr Brian Lord added: “It is an excellent idea because such a lot of grids will never get done because there is always a car parked on top of them.”

Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Culture, said: “The staff in Oldham Council’s Highways Team are out in all weathers maintaining the borough’s roads.

“They do a good job and this year has been particularly testing due to the impact of Covid on the staff.

“Our teams undertake scheduled cleaning of gullies to recommended industry-wide standards.

“We’ve had a lot of rain recently but our monitoring has found nothing to suggest the gullies have struggled to cope.

“Before any severe rain warning we mechanically sweep channels and clean gullies in known hotspots, to reduce the impact of flash rainfall events, as during Storm Christoph.

“Analysis shows that since 2016 only five per cent, or less, of flooding can be attributed to gully issues.

“River flooding and sewers being over capacity are the two main causes, neither of which are the council’s responsibility. Recently the Tame and Medlock Rivers flooded.”

• Do you know of any blocked grids or gullies that need clearing? If so email Saddleworth Parish Council:

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