Update from Councillor Jim Back at DDC’s Scrutiny Committee –  20th April 2016

Your District Councillor Jim Back has been asking questions as a Member of DDC’s Scrutiny Committee. The committee met on 20th April and was attended by three representatives from Southern Water and one from KCC Highways.

Jim put several question to the most senior Southern Water representative,

“We were told in late 2014 by Southern Water representatives at a meeting arranged to include all heads of the relevant departments at DDC , that the sewer pipe running up Sandwich Road was not of a large enough circumference so could not cope with the extra input from the houses on phase 1a, so they would not sign off conditions 34 and 35. A few months later  these conditions were signed off. How does that work?”

The Southern Water representative said and he was not aware of these meeting and that he would give a definitive answer shortly.

The Southern Water representative then stated that there was only one property in the DDC area that was listed as being at high flood risk.

Jim Back pointed out that all of the properties on Forge Lane opposite phase 1a flooded on regular basis, so KCC Highways put in soakaways but forgot to connect them to the properties that they were supposed to be protecting. As they had also put a non return valve in each house, Jim pointed out that there must have been a problem for them to add these valves.

The Southern Water representative admitted that there must have been a problem for this to happen and he did not know where Forge Lane was, but he said they would look into it and come back with answers.

Jim Back then pointed out that the application for 135 properties at Singledge Lane intended to send the sewage down Nursery Lane and into the pumping station at phase 1a and up Sandwich Road, after he had been told by their senior managers that it could not cope with the extra sewage from phase 1a.

The Southern Water representative’s answer was that as far as they were concerned the system could cope.

Jim pointed out that there was going to be a Primary School and a Tesco Express type shop on phase 1a.

The Southern Water representative admitted that this had not been factored into their calculations.

Jim Back then moved onto phase 1, and stated that Southern Water had not put anything in place for the sewage from the first 90 odd houses and that the Developer was going to put his own system in.  Jim considers that Southern Water up until now had just been paying lip service to these problems.

That did not go down well.

So the end result is that Southern Water are going to come back with the answers to Jim’s questions.

KCC Highways representative said that they cleared our all drains on major roads every year, so Jim asked why there was grass growing out of most of the drains going down Whitfield Hill which made it flood at the bottom? Jim added that so they are not cleared once a year and, even if they were, it obviously was not done properly for  them to have grass growing out of them and the flooding continuing to occur.

KCC Highways representative said that she would look into this issue.