Flood report ‘improved’

A REVISED report about Morpeth’s autumn flood has been welcomed by councillors.

Northumberland County Council has compiled the dossier to examine the response to the September disaster and identify any areas for improvement.

However, Morpeth Town Council hit out at an early draft for glossing over failings and appearing to criticise the flood wardens who helped residents escape the deluge.

Now the report has been revised, with amendments welcomed by the town council’s Planning and Transport Committee.

Coun David Parker said: “I was one of the people who on at least two, if not three occasions was critical of the first draft, basically saying it did not give an accurate picture of what happened.

“This final draft is a good deal better and the tone is different. There is some willingness on the part of the county council to acknowledge failings and there is also a re-writing of the way the flood wardens responded.

“In many regards it gives a much better picture of what happened.”

He added that there may still be some issues to resolve.

Coun Les Cassie agreed the report is better, but said lessons must be learned.

“The report is far more balanced, but my concern is for the future,” he said.

“There was clearly a lack of leadership, as there was four years ago. We all thought that had been dealt with. I would like to know that if it rains heavily six weeks from now and High Stanners is under the same threat as it was last September that the county council leadership will be up to the job.”

The committee has asked for a copy of the county’s revised flood action plan.