STANFORD-LE-HOPE residents who were recently flood-stricken at the far end of Wharf Road, following a pumping station failure, have had their tales of woe heard by all of Thurrock’s councillors following a motion by a Stanford councillor asking every responsible agency to resolve the issues residents are facing following heavy downpours.
Conservative councillor, Shane Hebb, asked all members of Thurrock Council to back his request for the council to lead talks with the local train-line operator and DP World, after access to the pumping station was unintentionally restricted after the railway line works were completed in 2013.
Now residents face lengthy hours of isolation if the ageing pump fails, as the council battle a lack of access into the pumping station to make repairs if the pumps go wrong. So far, no party has been forthcoming in offering a resolve to the situation.
“Unfortunately, all the while everyone debates the ‘whys’ and ‘wherefores’ of who is responsible for the costs of resolving the matter, residents suffer”, comments Cllr Shane Hebb. “Leaving a small community isolated is unforgivable – the residents and businesses down the end of Wharf Road need everyone to get around a table quickly to plan and implement a solution; the reinstatement of access to the pumping station”.
Supported by councillors from all parties, many other councillors relayed issues of flooding in their own wards. Joined by other councillors, Cllr Hebb reinforced the issue of restricted emergency-service access to the small community at the end of Wharf Road in the event of flooding, and the fact the residents would need to take holiday out of their annual leave to take a days holiday. Businesses also suffer due to not being able to conduct normal operations in flooding conditions.
“Now that the profile of the issue in Wharf Road has been raised, I hope that other communities suffering may also get the support they need”, adds Cllr Hebb. “There is now more integrity behind the council’s desire to rectify the situation, as it is no longer one or two local ward councillors making noises, but the will of the entire political leadership of the council”.
“I look forward to the council co-ordinating a prompt forum with key stakeholders and external agencies, so to resolve to the situation before something awful happens”.