Hambleton residents threaten council tax strike

Firefighters at Garstang County Primary
Image caption Lessons have resumed at Garstang County Primary School

Residents in a Lancashire village are threatening to withhold their council tax after claiming blocked drains added to flooding problems.

David Shaw, from Hambleton, said there have been drain problems on Sherbourne Road for the past six months.

Water levels reached 2ft (60cm) in part of the street leading to human waste and rats in his front garden.

Lancashire County Council's Rick Hayton said drainage systems had "struggled to cope" with the severe weather.

"I've only had three hours sleep worrying if the water was going to come through," said Mr Shaw.

Residents from around half a dozen houses which were vulnerable kept flooding at bay with sandbags and boards nailed to their front doors.

"It's been an ongoing problem for six to eight months. We've contacted the council several times but nothing has happened," he added.

He said residents in the street had joined together planning to withhold part of their council tax.

'Rats and faeces'

"This is a situation where it could destroy homes", said Mr Shaw.

"As soon as it got dark the rats were running up and down the road because they had nowhere to go - but the worst part was when the manholes were lifted up and the faeces came out."

Mr Hayton said the rainfall had been "exceptional and drainage systems have, in many cases, struggled to cope with the large volumes of surface water".

"Lancashire County Council's highways services have been working around the clock to deal with a high volume of incidents across Wyre and the rest of the county," he said.

"We will be liaising with all of our partners, including the Environment Agency, Wyre Borough Council and United Utilities, to investigate exactly what happened in Hambleton and to look at any improvements that can be made.

"We share residents' concerns about flooding in this area and will work with them and other partners to improve the situation."

The flooding has seen the cancellation of trains between Blackpool North and Preston because of a landslide at Weeton and there are delays between Preston and Lancaster.

The Environment Agency has put five flood warnings and 11 flood alerts in place around the region.

It is advising people to use sandbags to protect their properties.

Heavy downpours across England have resulted in homes being evacuated, disruption to train services and school closures while many roads have been closed.

Image caption People staying at Cala Gran Holiday Park in Fleetwood have been moved from the site

In Lancashire, flood alerts have been issued for the River Yarrow at Croston and Pimlico Brook at Clitheroe, as well as the River Wyre south of St Michaels, the River Douglas at Parbold and the watercourses at Preesall.

Garstang Community Primary School had to close on Tuesday because of flooding in classrooms, but has reopened with three out of eight classrooms out of action.

Bottomdale Road in Hest Bank has been closed between the A6 Slyne Road junction and the Foundry Lane junction.

Powder House Lane in Morecambe has also been closed due to flooding between the B5321 Torrisholme Road junction and the Hasty Brow Road junction.

A flood alert remains in place on low lying land from Ormskirk to Southport, including Banks, Birkdale, Brown Edge, Mere Brow and Scarisbrick.

Northern Rail said the Wigan Wallgate-to-Southport line had reopened following flooding at Parbold, but warned services may be subject to delays.

Heavy rain and flooding on Tuesday led to holidaymakers being moved from Cala Gran Holiday Park in Fleetwood.

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