AN ACTION group has been launched to identify 'at risk' properties after an estate was hit by flooding for the sixth time this year.

Residents on the Higher Folds estate in Leigh were affected by floods again after downpours on Thursday, September 30.

Properties sustained damage and residents say they feel like nothing has been done to help them. 

One said to the Journal: "How are residents supposed to live like this? The lack of action by the council is despicable.

"In January this year, we’ve lost everything, and absolutely no action has been taken to prevent this happening again.

"Is this really OK? This is sewage water, by the way.

"It’s not seen as an emergency."

The council says the flooding is due to a capacity issue on the United Utilities network, which outfalls on to Penleach Brook and that the cause has been identified.


Recent floods on Stirling Close Pic: Kez Cunningham

Stirling Close flooded Pic: Kez Cunningham

Leigh MP James Grundy said he met with some of the residents of Higher Folds affected.

He said: "This is the sixth time this year some residents have been affected by this issue, and I have previously raised the matter with both Wigan Council and the Environment Agency.

"Key issues that were raised with me included the increasing frequency of flooding in their area, the risk of damage to homes and insurance issues it causes, and the need for both more suitable temporary short-term measures to help tackle the flooding and the need for an adequate long-term solution to the problem.

"Following on from this meeting, I will be raising residents’ concerns and the need for further measures to be implemented with both the chief executive of Wigan Council and the Environment Agency."

The council says an action group has been launched to identify 'at risk' properties.

Paul Barton, director of environment at Wigan Council said: “Once we became aware of Thursday’s flooding issue, our officers responded very quickly, deploying sandbags to the local area.

“Thankfully, it did not take long for normal water levels to be restored. This area flooded during Storm Christoph as did many others, which has highlighted areas we need to focus our attention in terms of reducing the risk of flooding.

“We are here to support our residents as best we can, however, as with any natural event it is hard to predict but we do our utmost to prepare. We’re working with local councillors as well as the Environment Agency and United Utilities to develop a Community Flood Action Group to identify the most at risk properties and set out what actions we and the community can take during the event of a flood.

“The group is in the early stages but once a group of volunteers has been identified, we can take this work forward. Local residents in these high risk areas are welcome to be part of the conversation.”


Recent floods on Stirling Close Pic: Kez Cunningham

Stirling Close Pic: Kez Cunningham

The council says the flooding is due to a capacity issue on the UU network, which outfalls onto Penleach Brook. UU has identified the cause of the problem and is working with the council to discuss options for future works to reduce the risk of surface water flooding.

However, this is mitigation, not complete removal of the flood risk and, with natural incidents, there is never a guarantee, therefore, the council adds that all residents are to consider additional personal flood protection measures they can take to protect their property.