Warning signs were there

The Cotting Burn in Morpeth. Pictures from Peter Scaife to go with his letter.
The Cotting Burn in Morpeth. Pictures from Peter Scaife to go with his letter.

‘OMINOUS signs of a repetition as the watercourse rose….residents of Dawson Place and those whose properties back onto the Cotting Burn have every reason to be concerned.’

When I wrote to the Herald in July, I had no idea that the concerns raised in my letter would be realised within a matter of months.

Flood protection on the Cotting Burn equivalent to a once-in-a-hundred-year scenario was what the Environment Agency told Morpeth residents had been secured when the issue was mooted at public consultations in July.

Less than 100 days later the Cotting Burn flooded once more.

I take no pleasure in my prescience: the flooding of the Cotting Burn was an entirely predictable occurrence, which will go on happening until the culverts are regularly cleared out and measures taken to prevent flood-gathered debris being washed downstream to jam the culverts. These are not difficult or expensive steps to take.

It is hard not to draw links between the county council officers who erect traffic lights against those who live in the town’s wishes and Environment Agency employees who assure us that a watercourse is now flood proof.

In both cases, teams of so-called experts and highly-paid consultants, paid at public expense, act in defiance of public opinion, ignore the evidence on the ground when it is presented to them and continue to fly in the face of common sense.

Nor do they have the decency or humility to accept when mistakes have been made.

Don’t we deserve better than this?

PETER SCAIFE

Newgate Street

Morpeth