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Suffolk has 600 flood spots in need of work as dozens of new cases reported

PUBLISHED: 08:05 13 March 2020 | UPDATED: 08:05 13 March 2020

Thornham Magna flooding near the Four Horseshoes Pub  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Thornham Magna flooding near the Four Horseshoes Pub Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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More than 600 flooding problem spots on Suffolk’s roads are in need of work, new data has revealed – with 100 new issues raised this autumn and winter alone.

Andrew Reid, cabinet member for highways, transport and rural affairs at Suffolk County Council, said flooding which posed risks to property had to be prioritised.  Picture: SIMON LEEAndrew Reid, cabinet member for highways, transport and rural affairs at Suffolk County Council, said flooding which posed risks to property had to be prioritised. Picture: SIMON LEE

But Suffolk Highways chiefs are hoping that some of the money announced in the Budget on Wednesday can go towards improvement work.

Data published in highways cabinet member Andrew Reid's report on Thursday said that 100 new flooding areas had been reported over the autumn and winter, largely as a result of periods of persistent rainfall.

The report continued that it meant there were now more than 600 areas which needed addressing, despite work having been carried out at 280 flood spots since November 2016.

Councillor Andrew Reid, Conservative cabinet member for highways, transport and rural affairs, said: 'We have seen an unprecedented amount of rainfall this winter, resulting in a sharp increase in the number of flooding locations in Suffolk.

Portman Road in Ipswich flooded. Picture: ADAM HOWLETTPortman Road in Ipswich flooded. Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

'With a limited budget in place to tackle flooding, our focus remains on resolving those locations where internal property flooding occurs, or where flooding poses a significant safety risk.

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'We are waiting to hear from the Department for Transport about what extra funding Suffolk is due to receive following the budget announcement earlier this week, depending on the amount we receive, it is hoped that this will help bolster our flooding programme.'

However, the council's opposition labour group raised concerns about funding and a backlog of issues.

Labour's Jack Owen said the backlog would take time to clear. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNLabour's Jack Owen said the backlog would take time to clear. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Councillor Jack Owen, highways spokesman for the group said: 'The sheer number of flooding issues across Suffolk shows that there simply isn't a big enough budget to deal with the problem.

'Suffolk County Council's drainage team has resolved 280 flooding problems since 2016.

'But the most recent figures currently show 600 flooding problems identified and outstanding. You don't have to be a genius to see that they're going to struggle to clear the backlog anytime soon.

'To make matters worse, the Conservatives have reduced the drainage budget from £2.2million this year to £1.86m for the coming year - a 15% cut.

'The floods we saw this winter were a nightmare for people in Suffolk and, whilst the Tories refuse to put in the necessary cash, flooding will continue to cause chaos.'

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