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Concerns raised as only two gully cleaners available for 170,000 drains

CONCERNS have been raised after it was revealed that only two gully cleaners are available to empty around 170,000 drains across Flintshire.

The issue was highlighted as politicians met to discuss how Flintshire Council intends to address the impacts of climate change, including increased cases of flooding in the county.

Connah’s Quay Wepre councillor Roz Mansell (Ind) questioned how many machines the local authority had on hand to clean gullies after recent flooding incidents in her ward.

It was at this point during a meeting of the authority’s climate change committee that deputy council leader Dave Hughes (Lab) disclosed there were only two available for the whole county.

Cllr Hughes, portfolio holder for the Streetscene department, said: “We don’t have many gully suckers, but we’ve got something like 170,000 grids, so you can imagine what it’s like trying to get those clear.

“When you get storms like Babet, you can clean as much as you like, but with the amount of water that comes through, it isn’t going to make a lot of difference.”

Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting (March 19, 2024), Cllr Mansell said she was concerned that the lack of equipment to clear drains could add to flooding issues in the county.

She also claimed there had been a reduction in the number of gully cleaners owned by the authority, with the figure previously standing at ten around a decade ago.

She said: “That doesn’t make any sense to me. I was stood in my street up to my knees in water and I couldn’t ring anybody up.

“Luckily enough, the houses didn’t get flooded, but it took them a few weeks to come out and clear the drains.

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“I’ve still got a drain in the next street that is constantly flooding, and I’ve still not had any response.

“We’re talking about flooding and prevention. I don’t understand why we’ve only got two wagons that are clearing the grids that are causing it.”

Cllr Hughes said he would meet with Cllr Mansell to discuss her concerns.