Stanford councillor angry over Wharf Road flooding

A STANFORD-LE-HOPE councillor has reacted angrily following last weeks flooding in Wharf Road which caused untold problems for some of the residents and businesses operating last week. There were many local people and business operators who experienced a great level of disruption caused by the flood..

It quickly became apparent that there was a breakdown in the pumping station with a part which wears away over time. Unfortunately, the part failed before corrective work could be completed, which caused the breakdown of the plant, and ultimately flooded the road.

“Like all machinery, individual component parts have estimated lifetimes and if there is an issue somewhere in the machine which is not detected, this can lead to component parts failing quicker than what are anticipated and ultimately cause breakdowns. Putting it simply, component parts fail”, notes Cllr Shane Hebb, Conservative councillor for Stanford West, “but it is what is done about the failure which counts”

The issue was compounded by the fact that access to the pumping station is now not easily accessed due to the overhead train line crossing works in the summer, which has unintentionally restricted quick access to the station when the need arises. Thurrock Council is working to resolve the matter of restricted with Network Rail and DP World, but access for the meanwhile remains difficult.

“For me, there are a couple points of action which need to be tackled head on:

“Emergency action in the event of large floods – residents and businesses may have been able to make back-up plans if they knew that a flood could occur (i.e. in the unlikely scenario that the part was known to have failed and was in the progress of being repaired). This is especially true in regards of back-up plans for social care appointments, and education and workplace needs. Most people need to go to work, and I couldn’t imagine the difficulty in explaining away what had prevented you getting there to their managers etc.”, sympathises Cllr Hebb. “Likewise, ambulance access would be impeded and emergency plans need to be looked at in respects of what can be done to minimise the isolation the residents and businesses suffered that day”.

Cllr Shane Hebb is also clear that the lack of free and direct access to the pumping plant needs prompt resolution. “To be fair to Thurrock Council, the engineers have been working to establish free and direct access once more to the pumping station. The profile of this issue now needs DP World and Network Rail to take this matter even more seriously and work with the council in sorting this out once and for all!”.

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