Anglian Water and Suffolk County Council agree further work to resolve long-running flood problems in Rushmere during meeting with Dan Poulter MP

Dan Poulter MP talking to residents from Rushmere St Andrew last year after the complained about flo

Dan Poulter MP talking to residents from Rushmere St Andrew last year after the complained about flooding in the area. - Credit: Gregg Brown

A flood-blighted Suffolk community has been assured further work will take place to resolve their decade-long dispute.

Representatives from Anglian Water and Suffolk County Council’s (SCC) highways team met again with residents in Rushmere St Andrew on Friday to discuss the village’s long-running flooding concerns.

Both sides had been urged to address the situation, which has seen sewage flood people’s gardens and damage caused to property, during a meeting held three months ago by Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dan Poulter.

Graham Newman, who is responsible for highways at SCC, said meetings had since been held with Anglian Water to identify the problems and whose responsibility they were. He said a work plan and traffic regulation orders had been put in place to carry out improvements to the infrastructure in three months’ time, which should improve drainage in The Street, where the worst of the problems had been reported.

Derek Oldham, the council’s east area highways manager, said a designer was working on proposals to improve the flow of water from the road into a drainage pond, which has previously been too slow to prevent flooding. “I’m confident this will deal with the flooding issues caused by the summer storms that have typically caused the problem over the past 12 months,” he said.

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Anglian Water also said it had completed work on its pumping station, which had been another factor in the recurring problem.

Some of the residents, however, said the road had flooded more recently than Anglian Water claimed, and suggested the problem was still ongoing. “We are paying good rates and so the system should be working,” said one of the residents.

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Others criticised the company’s call handling system, which they said meant reports were not dealt with efficiently. Anglian Water said the area had been given a three-hour response time and agreed to look into the ways that calls were handled.

Parish chairman Philip Richings said flooding had “significantly reduced” since the last meeting, however he was concerned about the time taken to deal with it and other floods in the village at Playford Road and near St Andrew’s Church.

Dr Poulter thanked everyone for their co-operation. “Anglian Water has agreed to take away a few issues, for which I’m thankful, and the county has also agree to look at some other problems in the village. I know it’s long overdue, but I think we’re making progress,” he said.

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