Residents complain about blocked drains causing flooding
ACTION needs to be taken to unblock drains and prevent widespread flooding in Cheltenham.
That is the view of Councillor Barbara Driver (Lansdown, C), who says she has been inundated with complaints about clogged drains in Montpellier.
She believes the mix of blocked drains and the wettest summer in 100 years has left shoppers and homeowners frequently wading through water.
Cheltenham Borough Council admits there is a problem with blocked gutters and drains as cleaning teams find it difficult to remove debris with parked cars in the way.
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Mrs Driver is calling for action after people queued out the door to complain about the issue at her August surgery.
She said: "I have a monthly surgery in St Andrew's Church in Montpellier and people were literally queuing up outside to complain about the dirty roads caused by the blocked drains.
"We have a lot of drains, but the muck is not removed from them. They are all filled with leaves and debris and things like that.
"It is all from the gutters which become full of the leaves from the trees. It only has to rain and it floods.
"Outside the school in Christ Church Road, for example, the kids have to literally paddle through the water to get into school."
She says the worst affected areas are around Queen's Road and Christ Church Road.
She said: "What happens is that the leaves block up the gutters and the drains so when they clean the roads they need to clean the gutters as well.
"If they cleaned the roads we wouldn't have this problem, but I know cleaning the roads is a problem because of the parked cars and I have been asking for cleaning to be done on Sundays when it is less busy and I think the council is considering it."
John Rees, environmental maintenance manager at Cheltenham Borough Council acknowledges there is a problem in the Montpellier area and that they are trying to remedy the situation.
He said: "We clean the Montpellier area daily, using mechanical sweepers, but the high volume of cars parked along the roads does cause access problems.
"To try to address this, we do regularly ask local residents to remove their vehicles on specific dates so that we can sweep the roads.
"Gloucestershire Highways also take part in the programmed works so that they can clear the drains with their gulley equipment.
"We are, at the moment, concentrating on removing leaves from roadside gulleys and drains across the borough."
The three-month period between June, July and August this year ended as the second wettest UK summer on record.