Twice in two weeks we have unfortunately been flooded in our local business resulting in temporary closure and the loss of the post office services for the village.
Whilst we appreciate there are many people around the country that are affected far worse than ourselves, we believe the fault lies with the lack of local funding with council cutbacks.
Over the Christmas period we were in constant contact with the 24-hour mobile number issued by Horsham District Council which was managed by a very pleasant lady, who was powerless to speed up highways to come and clear out the drains outside our shop.
Eventually after MANY phone calls the initial expected arrival of two hours became 72 hours, but we did have a drain clearance team arrive to suck out the drains.
They said ‘these drains are so silted up there was never any chance of them taking the water away!’
Unfortunately we suffered further flooding on Monday January 6, where again the drains further up the street failed and sent a torrent of water towards our store.
A second drain inspection team arrived, who attempted to rod out the blockage only to find it blocked with tree roots. At the time of writing this letter (January 9) we are awaiting a high pressure jet lorry to try and blast out the debris within the drains. We cannot see how this will solve the problem as the old concrete drains have obviously broken to allow roots to penetrate.
We can all remember in the past seeing the drains, gutters and gullies being cleared out by the council prior to the onset of winter, a practice that I’m told doesn’t happen any more due to cutbacks!
If this had continued maybe local flooding could have been prevented.
It is down to complete under funding from HDC and WSCC (someone has to take responsibility) to ensure a programme is put in place to prevent similar occurrences next year.
As with households who pay their council tax we as a business pay £3,500 pa business rates and we question what do we get in return for this additional cost.
This is simply just another tax burden levied upon business in the district and should be put to use to ensure that both businesses and residential properties are protected.
DAVID and PIPPA HERITAGE
Barns Green Village Store, Chapel Road, Barns Green