During last Summer and Autumn Saddleworth experienced serious flash flooding and a number of properties in Dobcross and Uppermill were damaged.
Some of the flooding problems have been solved by regular gully maintenance and grid clearing. However, the larger problem of the River Tame bursting its banks in Delph, Dobcross and Uppermill has not been resolved.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Garth Harkness has been pushing for extensive action to solve this problem. He first became involved last Summer/Autumn as a result of flooding in Dobcross. Several properties and areas were affected including the Swan Inn, houses on Woods Lane, Churchfields, Dobcross New Road and Delph New Road.
Councillor Harkness said, “I met with United Utilities representatives and Council officers in November. Following this, some investigative work and clearing was carried out along with resurfacing work on Churchfields. I’ve had a number of meetings since in an attempt to keep things moving forward. There are problems with the playing fields opposite the Woolpack in Dobcross as they are vulnerable when the River Tame floods.”
Cllr Garth Harkness has worked with Neighbourhoods cabinet member Jean Stretton to try to arrange a major joint project with Oldham Council, United Utilities and the Environment Agency.
A special meeting has been called through the District Partnership to allow the public an opportunity to listen to the details of the proposals, ask questions and raise concerns.
Liberal Democrat Councillor and Chairman of Saddleworth and Lees District Partnership, Barbara Beeley said, “It is great news that we have secured a joint major initiative between the Council, United Utilities and the Environment Agency in order to reduce the risk of flooding in the area. We want local people to bring their experiences of flooding in the area to the meeting so that we can put the strongest case forward to try to secure funding”
Cllr Harkness added, “It has needed persistence to get this far but we are delighted that work towards a major project is now taking place to help protect businesses and homes from flooding. We need local people to help develop the project and we would like them to share their experiences and bring any examples of flooding along.”
The public meeting will take place at Saddleworth Civic Hall, Uppermill at 7pm on Thursday 20th June where representatives of all the partners will be present.