Campaign leads to Council sandbag u-turn

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img_3657The Town Hall has been forced to u-turn on previous refusals to issue sandbags to homes that are most at risk of flooding following last year’s devastation in Moreton.

Following an independent review into the floods, and the responses of the various authorities, Wirral Council was slammed for acting too late, and not working with others.

Councillor Bruce Berry (pictured at the Arrowe Brook) welcomed the outcome of the review and the u-turn: “We know that many of the residents in Millhouse Lane, Carnoustie Close and Tern Way wanted to take action to protect their properties as the flood waters approached but couldn’t  due to a botched response from the authorities whose action was too little, too late.

“The fact that Wirral Council has now agreed to order new-style sandbags, in the form of gel-filled ‘hydrobags’, and issue to them to the most at risk residents will be a big help.  Nobody wants to see a repeat of last year’s problems.”

The Town Hall has also agreed to carry out a flood plan for each property at risk, personalised to the household, showing the actions residents can take when a flood warning has been issued. The Arrowe Brook is also currently being cleared of rubbish and undergrowth.

Councillor Berry said: “As well as this work by the Council, we also need to see more residents sign up for the free text alert service for flood warnings. Signing up won’t affect insurance premiums or Council Tax, but those extra couple of hours could make all the difference between losing your possessions or not.”

Residents across Wirral can sign up for the free, text alert service from the Environment Agency by logging on to: www.environment-agency.gov.uk<http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk> or by calling: 0345 988 1188.

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More Water Works Disruption!

As readers of the blog will be aware, here in Moreton we have over the last couple of years had our share of disruption as a result of works by United Utilities.    Just when you thought it was all over along they come again, this time creating some havoc around Moreton Cross for six weeks.    OK I know it has to be done, but why not do it during the six weeks of school holidays when at peak time there is not as much traffic on the roads.    But then I suppose that would mean using common sense!    You can read more from United Utilities by clicking HERE

 

United Utilities – Here We Go Again!

I have recently been alerted to further work to be carried out by United Utilities in Hoylake Road to the mains water line.    You can read more about that by clicking here

The work forms part of a wider series of projects across various areas of the Wirral that will enable United Utilities to improve the water supplies to over 190000 people.   The work in Hoylake road will involve laying a new water pipeline in the highway so there will be some disruption to traffic whilst we carry out our works.     The work will start in early May and take around twelve weeks to complete.    United Utilities have a communications plan in place for the work in Hoylake road that will include a letter drop to local residents, visits to local businesses, communications with local schools, emergency services, bus companies.  We will also install major road works signs along the route prior to stating works.       If you want further information please go to: United Utilities: Wirral water main cleaning

Have YOUR say!

On Tuesday 8th the Moreton, Saughall Massie and Leasowe Area Forum takes place at the Eastway Community Centre (By the Council’s One Stop Shop in Knutsford Road), starting at 7pm and finishing no later than 9pm.    The Forum gives local people the opportunity to hear from Councillors, Council, Officers and other agencies about things that are happening in their neighbourhood, as well as in the wider community.    Following the recent fiasco over the water supplies, I have requested that representatives of United Utilities  attend, to explain to us why they completely messed up over the recent planned mains repair!    They have agreed to attend, so come along and tell them what you think.    To access the full agenda click here 

Sorry does not Cut it!

Thousands of people in the Moreton and Leasowe area had their water supplies cut off at 8pm last night without any notification by the ‘Giant that is United Utilities’ (UU).   Some like me have been lucky and have their water supply restored, yet thousands, including schools, businesses and many of the most vulnerable in our society are still without water.

UU promised us that if are water supply was to be off for a major repair we would be notified by having a card (like the one on the left) delivered to us, yet we know learn that 6,000 homes were not carded, yet lost their water supply without that warning, and therefore were not prepared!

Last night I tried to get hold of a UU senior manager, but sadly all I got was fobbed off by the Call Centre, dont get me wrong the operator was very polite and very professional, but would not let me speak to a senoir manager.     This morning I received a call from their ‘Complaints Escalation Department’  (Seems senior managers are still hiding from me) and all I could get was a sorry.    Well UU heres a message for you, SORRY is simply not acceptable.   

I would have thought that in the 21st century, a company such as UU, who make millions of £’s profit year on year with their exhorbitant water charges would be able to act in a more professional manner.  Seems to me that all they are interested in is profit at the expense of their customer, and when it goes wrong they simply say sorry and thats it!     It’s time this out of control giant known as UU was held to account, they simply cannot continue to do what they want at the expense of us, after all we pay huge amounts for this service!

United Utilities a DISGRACE!

Earlier this week, along with the other Wallasey Councillors I was notified, via email, by United Utilities  Public Affairs Manager that due to a water mains repair in Reeds Lane, thousands of homes would be without water from 8pm tonight (Thursday 20th May) until 6am in the morning.    We were all told in that email that:  “Notices will be delivered to properties affected by the shut off.”  Well that was totally untrue!

I did not receive a card, neither did hundreds, if not thousands of people who live in this area, so no one in this area thought they were going to be affected by the shut off, and did not take precautions to fill kettles etc .    How wrong we all were, yep our water has gone off as well.   I will manage, but I fear for the elderly and the vulnerable who will have no water, who worry about their central heating systems, who wont be able to have a hot drink, or flush their toilets, simply because United Utilities failed to keep their promise to notify people.

I called the hotline number to be told that they did not think the shut off would affect us!   Are they really so naive that they think they will believe them.    When I asked to speak to a senior manager I was told none were available, when I suggested that they contact one they said they did not have contact numbers?    What a disgraceful kop out, what a disgraceful and dismissive way to deal with people, what a totally uncaring outfit they are.    They really should hang their heads in shame.

I have telephoned Dave Green (the Councils Director of Technical Services) at home, and asked that he writes to UU’s Chief Executive asking for a full explanation of what has gone on.   I will also be asking the relevant Council Overview and Scrutiny Committee to call UU in and hold them to account over this disgraceful and unacceptable situation.