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Flood action snub for Moffat

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By Abbey Morton
Moffat
Flood action snub for Moffat

‘IRRESPONSIBLE and antisocial neighbour’ — those are the claims being levelled at Dumfries and Galloway Council after a meeting about flooding this week.

Members of the Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee met on Tuesday to look at flooding in the region and decided not to programme works for Moffat, other than basic maintenance.

Now the Moffat Flood Action Group (MFAG) has hit out at the local authority for allowing water from council land to flow into private houses.

Speaking on behalf of the residents of Annanside and The Glebe, MFAG vice chairman Robert Stace said: “What makes them angry is that the flood water is actually coming into their homes from council-owned land.

“For the people of Annanside, Dumfries and Galloway Council is an irresponsible and antisocial neighbour.”

Annandale North councillor Stephen Thompson explained his SNP colleagues at the meeting asked officers for a ‘simple black and white’ answer on whether Moffat would get any flood protection works done.

He said: “The MFAG, community council and many residents have repeatedly raised flood-related concerns and anxieties, not just during recent storms but over the last few years, and find little comfort in lengthy and costly reports, some of which are not made easily accessible to the public, that result in little or no meaningful action being taken.

“Unfortunately at committee, the answer from council officers was clear, particularly for residents near The Glebe and Annanside, — no new works programme is to be carried out by Dumfries and Galloway Council beyond basic maintenance.

“A straight answer at least lets you plan accordingly, it’s not what many will want to hear but it beats being strung along.”

Meanwhile, Mr Stace explained a new flood study approved this week will be the third in 13 years.

He said: “Council Tax payers are picking up the bill for all this wordsmithing and, if this isn’t enough, the council will publish in June 2016 yet another study: their Flood Risk Management Plan.

“We are very disappointed that after years of delay and false hopes, the council are unwilling to take action.”

MFAG has offered to help monitor gullies and drains as well as carry out light cleaning work to keep them running freely, but say they have been ‘snubbed’.

Mr Stace added: “The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) estimates that up to 370 homes in Moffat could be affected by what SEPA calls a ‘medium likelihood event’ — and the Scottish Government has allocated £260m for flood defence in Scotland — but we have no confidence that the council will do anything for people at risk in Moffat.”

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