You won't believe how much Wigan Council have spent on flood damage

Wigan Council has spent a huge sum of money in the past five years on fixing flood damage, the authority has revealed.

Monday, 15th October 2018, 2:17 pm
Updated Monday, 15th October 2018, 3:23 pm
Flooding in Wigan
Flooding in Wigan

In a response to a recent Freedom of Information request, the town hall has detailed its spending on flood defences and damage payments since 2013.

The FOI response reveals that £1,869,995 has been spent on repairing flood damage to infrastructure over the past 60 months, yet only a third of this amount (£580,287.72) has been spent on defences.

Since the payments were made public, the town hall has explained that the majority of the repair money was granted to the borough to fix damage caused by Storm Eva back in 2015.

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Paul Barton, director for environment at Wigan Council, said: “The Environment Agency’s Greater Manchester indicative Flood Risk Area does not designate Wigan Borough as a significant risk.

“As a result, the council is not required to produce flood hazard maps, flood risk maps or flood risk management plans, however, we do continue to support other organisations such as the Environment Agency and United Utilities in reducing flood risk to properties.

“Following damage caused by Storm Eva, the council received two one-off government grants amounting to almost £1.8m to help pay for repairs to the highway drainage network, such as root cutting, lining of sewers, clearing drains and more.

“In addition to this, the council has invested around £500,000 into flood defences to protect the highway infrastructure, local businesses and residential properties.

“However, the responsibility for reducing the flood risk from main rivers lies with the Environment Agency and they have carried out numerous flood defence work borough-wide and continue to look at opportunities to implement further flood defences.”

Despite the Greater Manchester flood risk plan categorising Wigan as not high risk, the North West river basin district flood risk management plan for 2015 to 2021 describes the area as at “significant risk” for flooding.

In April, it emerged Wigan’s flood risk assessment has not been updated since 2011 despite dozens of houses being damaged since that time.