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Whilst the Parish Council have a good relationship with the County Highway Office based at Dunball and always receive prompt replies to requests, the same cannot be said of officers based at County Hall. 

When items are referred to that section at County Hall for attention, it is quite normal not to receive a reply and for the request to be ignored. The Parish Council have become frustrated to continually have to tell local residents that they are still waiting for information about requests and sending reminders have little effect. 

The flood prevention section at County Hall were investigating a long outstanding drainage issue at Crancombe Lane in late 2019 and quite understandably work ceased at the start of lock down. However this inspection cover at the edge of the carriageway was left in this position exposing an open drain for over five months. The inspection cover was subsequently reinstated but there still seems to be an issue with the culvert. The Area Highways Manager has recently advised that the drainage issues at this location are not a matter for him and that they are currently being investigated by their Flood Risk Management Team.  It is understood there are issues with the outfall from the chamber across private land and the ditch to which this discharges. The temporary signs and barriers are in place for safety purposes.
The ditch at the rear of the houses in Horton Way which is in numerous different ownerships is unable to cater for heavy rainfall and water often spills out onto the carraiagway. The Land Drainage Officers have also been requested to investigate the capacity of that ditch. Some sections of the protected hedge which is the responsibility of the various property owners are neglected and badly in need of maintenance whereas other sections are well kept and regularly trimmed. 

The Parish Council were not satisfied at the response to their complaints regarding the poor performance of the local drainage section working at County Hall and agreed to take the matter up with the local County Councillor.  Unfortunately his enquiry went to the Area Highways Manager who again repeated that the issue is not a matter for him but his employees will continue to re-erect the safety barriers which are frequently blown over in the wind.

However, after a long period of silence, the following reply was finally received from the Land Drainage Section

“Thank you for enquiry I regret to say that from the investigations we have carried out to date a remedial solution to the issue you raised is more complex than for example simply cleaning the system to remove blockages. Our initial enquires suggest that the down-stream capacity of the system is possibly insufficient to take the inflow from the drainage pipes connected to the chamber where the cover has been reported to have been lifted off during heavy rainfall.  However, remedying the problem is potentially a long and complex process which we are starting to investigate.  In the meantime, we will continue to guard the chamber with barriers and signage and monitor the situation.

I appreciate this is not the outcome you were seeking in the short term.”

At least this issue would appear to now being investigated by the Land Drainage Section at County Hall but it is now well over two years since it was first raised.