Several people claim to have reported blocked drains well before Northampton floods hit

A blocked drain in Northampton pictured after the storm waters receded on Monday.
A blocked drain in Northampton pictured after the storm waters receded on Monday.

A councillor whose home was left under 4ft of water in Far Cotton says many residents have been reporting blocked drains there for months.

Councillor Julie Davenport’s home in Gloucester Crescent was among the 100 hit on Sunday, though she managed to get electricals out of the property in time.

Councillor Julie Davenport.

Councillor Julie Davenport.

She said a number of residents have reported blocked drains in Far Cotton well before the floods hit on Sunday.

She said: “Residents have raised the issue – I have raised the issue. People just give up in the end because they get fed up of nothing happening.

“People feel really let down here.”

The county council, whose job it is to maintain drains in the county, can be held liable for property damage if a blocked drain is found to be the cause.

However, a spokesman for the authority said: “We are not able to accept liability for any damage caused without clear and undisputable evidence that the flood losses arose purely as a result of defective drainage to the area.

"At this stage we have no evidence that this may be the case and as such we are treating the matter as a severe and unusual heavy rainfall event.”

Southampton Road resident Jill Harris said a set of drains on the corner of Euston Road had been reported to the council as being blocked with “DVDs” prior to the floods.

Collingtree Park man Chris Taylor, 56, has reported more than 20 blocked drains in the town in the past 10 years.

His daughter Beccy lost her life in 2008 when her car hit standing water along Towcester Road caused by a blocked gully.

He has campaigned since to highlight the dangers of blocked gullies across the county – but he fears little has changed over the past decade and fears too many people fail to report the defective drains.