Flood victims warn authorities the 'clock is ticking' as winter looms

Ivan Lee and Jon Riley, from Horsford, are seriously worried about flooding in the run up to winter

Ivan Lee and Jon Riley, from Horsford, are seriously worried about flooding in the run up to winter after last year's downpours - Credit: Danielle Booden/ Jon Riley

Families battered by Christmas floods have warned authorities the clock is ticking — and want to see action now to prevent a repeat of the devastation caused.

Villagers living on Coltsfoot Road and Beckside in Horsford slammed parish councillors in October for not doing enough to protect people's homes in the 10 months since the beck overflowed on December 23.

Spurred into action after chairman Chris Brown was criticised for admitting the parish council had "forgotten about the issue" during summer, a meeting was set up with Lord Richard Dannatt — head of Norfolk's new Strategic Flood Alliance (NSFA) — earlier this week. 

Norfolk peer Lord Dannatt is a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Rural Economy. P

Norfolk peer Lord Dannatt is a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Rural Economy. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Jon Riley and his neighbours were badly affected by the floods, with Norfolk County Council putting the catastrophe down to torrential rainfall overwhelming weak drainage systems.

Mr Riley, 46, said: "For nearly 11 months we've had Anglian Water, the Environment Agency, and parish and district councils simply passing the buck.

"The beck still hasn't been cleared and we've been given no sandbags.

"The clock is ticking but I had to throw my toys out the pram before anyone would take any notice.

Homes on Coltsfoot were wrecked by the flooding last Christmas

Homes on Coltsfoot were wrecked by the flooding last Christmas - Credit: Submitted

Homes on Coltsfoot were wrecked by the flooding last Christmas

Homes on Coltsfoot were wrecked by the flooding last Christmas - Credit: Submitted

"It's good we've finally got Lord Dannatt involved. I mean, the man was head of the British Army. He can pull some serious weight.

"He seems to think it was an isolated event. I hope so too, but it's good to know someone is finally listening."

Mr Riley's neighbour Bob Hindmarsh agreed: "We need to know exactly who is responsible and what our options are."

Jon Riley, from Horsford, who is one of the residents worried about flooding. Picture: Danielle Bood

Jon Riley, from Horsford, who is one of the residents worried about flooding. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

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Lord Dannatt himself said his role as chair of the NSFA was precisely to stop the "buck passing" people are so fed up with, and force agencies to work together.

"There's been a lot organisations shrugging their shoulders in the past," he said.

"I am confident that what happened in Horsford last year was a rare event, caused by an unusually high amount of rainfall combined with a very wet autumn

"But that doesn't mean we just ignore the issue. Instead, we have to find appropriate flood prevention measures for both Horsford and the rest of Norfolk."

Flooding in Horsford last Christmas saw properties fill up with water

Flooding in Horsford last Christmas saw properties fill up with water, and forced some people to evacuate - Credit: Jon Riley

Jon Riley says the beck is never cleaned

Jon Riley says the beck is never cleaned, and that when it floods, all the gathered debris makes its way into people's homes and gardens - Credit: Jon Riley

Broadland District Council and the EA said they were not responsible for the issues that caused the flooding, while Anglian Water said it was working with as part of the NSFA to tackle the problem of flooding in Norfolk head-on.

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