Albert Road residents will no longer have to pay for flood defences. The street in Deal has suffered three serious flooding incidents in the last four years, the last of which was in January 2016. Following the downpour, Southern Water fitted flood gates, boards and doors to affected properties.
But in July this year, the firm wrote to residents saying they should be maintained within three years and residents would have to pay for it. I contacted chief executive Ian McAuley, pointing out the defences would not have been needed if it wasn't for the company's mistakes. Mr McAuley has now confirmed Southern Water will carry out inspections and foot the bill for maintenance.
In a letter to me e wrote: "In response to the concerns that you have shared with me, I asked for a review of our policy. We recognise that the flooding that has historically occurred at Albert Road was attributable to the operation of our assets, and in acknowledgement of this we will be amending our policy in this instance."
I'm glad Southern Water have done the right thing. The suggestion residents should pay was absolutely ridiculous, and I made that clear to Mr McAuley. I still want to see more investment in the Albert Road area. We got Southern Water to spend a million upgrading Golf Road pumping station and extending the outfall at Canada Road.
But residents have been told time and again that problems have been fixed, only to see their homes flooded with foul water again. Southern Water need to ensure these issues are addressed once and for all.
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