COUNCILLORS are desperate to see gullies cleared as soon as possible after the borough’s roads struggled to cope with this year’s downpours.

Work had already stepped up clearing gullies in the north of Cheshire East following the major flooding in July and August that hit areas including Poynton, Wilmslow and Kettleshulme.

But heavy rain in the past two months led to flooding in other parts of the borough such as Nantwich – while roads across Cheshire East have all been affected by standing water.

At a meeting on Monday where Cheshire East Council’s response to the floods was discussed, councillors called for action to clear gullies.

Cllr Peter Groves, Conservative member for Nantwich South and Stapeley, said: “We spent a huge amount of time and money on dealing with potholes and we have seen a substantial reduction and far fewer claims for damage.

“Shouldn’t we now be concentrating on gully clearing and combatting flooding? I certainly now receive far more complaints about blocked gullies than I do about potholes.”

CEC has cleared more than 6,600 gullies in Poynton, Adlington, Bollington and Kettleshulme since the summer’s floods, and another 1,000 are set to be cleared around Wilmslow, Handforth and Prestbury by the end of the month.

But members of CEC’s environment and regeneration scrutiny committee insisted the work needs to be carried out in other towns.

Cllr Mike Hunter, Labour member for Middlewich, raised concerns about standing water at the junction of Booth Lane and Cledford Lane.

He said: “The amount of small, flooded areas we have in our town – and I am sure it is the same in other towns – because we do not clean out our grids. They are choc-a-bloc to the top.

Winsford Guardian:

“We’re not cleaning up leaf-fall, we are just letting everything mount up, we are told it is on a cycle when we report them.

“We have a situation in my town where we’ve got a nice new crossing, we have put nice new traffic lights in for the Ansa depot, and you can’t use the crossing because it floods every time it rains.”

Cllr Tony Dean, Conservative member for Knutsford, added: “Most of our main roads have been completely covered in water in certain areas over the last few weeks.

“We do need our gullies emptying and my concern was that all the gully emptying would be moved to Poynton and the rest of the borough would be forgotten – I am hoping that is not the case.”

Winsford Guardian:

Councillors were told that five additional gully emptying machines are now in use to step up efforts across the borough.

Labour Cllr Brian Roberts, cabinet member for highways and waste, said: “I called a meeting last week with the officers and it was agreed that we should be treating the south of the borough exactly with the same intensity as we have treated the north of the borough.

“There will be the resources there to get these gullies cleared out, so for the rest of winter we should have a relatively clear go so to speak.

“The problem of course is that if we do get any more flooding incidents after we clear the gullies out, they are instantly filled with detritus again and they have to be cleared again.

“But that’s how it is, and that is what we have to do.”

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CEC also wants to encourage landowners to clear gullies on their land which have affected neighbouring residents before it considers using enforcement, the committee was told.