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THE ADVERTISER SAYS: Harsh to blame Croydon Council for post-flooding response

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IT IS six months since flooding brought chaos and – in some cases – destruction to the south of Croydon.

And it is clear from our report this week that the scars still run deep.

Many people haven't returned to their homes, businesses feel uneasy about a lack of compensation, and there are also concerns about what lessons have been learned (if any) from February's events.

It is true that plans must be put in place and the authorities ready to react if the same sort of extreme weather comes our way this winter.

And, if there are lessons to be learned, it would be foolish not to heed those.

But it's probably fair to cut the council a little bit of slack here – both the previous administration and the present one – on three levels.

Firstly, it is generally accepted that the response to the February flooding was outstanding, not only from the fire and rescue services but also the council, who came up with some decisive and rather innovative ways of stemming the flood waters (did anyone else think of pouring water into Purley Cross?)

Secondly, the council is taking steps in the aftermath of what happened this winter, to make sure the impacts of any future flooding are minimised. This includes dredging balancing ponds and bolting down manhole covers.

And finally, like all extreme weather, flooding is an act of God – a natural happening which you can only do so much to mitigate against.

Masterplan or no masterplan, if it rains heavily enough, flooding will happen in lower-lying areas.

So while the lessons should be learned and our authorities must be on alert, this is one case where council-bashing is probably unfair.

THE ADVERTISER SAYS: Harsh to blame Croydon Council for post-flooding response


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