Brighton flooding victims call for action from council and Southern Water

The Ridgeway resident Ian Leak
Ian Leak said neighbours in Woodingdean, Brighton, had formed a support group

People living in part of Brighton have called for action to prevent their homes flooding from surface water.

Ian Leak, who lives in Woodingdean told Brighton and Hove City Council flash-flooding had happened for 20 years but had increased "dramatically".

He said in the past 14 months the area had experienced 10 floods, with 18in to 24in going into his home in minutes on one occasion.

Southern Water said it would continue to work with the local council.

The sewers are Southern Water's responsibility but surface water management is the council's duty, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

At a full council meeting on Thursday Mr Leak, who lives in The Ridgeway, said neighbours had formed a support group, with sewage sometimes spilling into properties.

'Heavy and consistent rainwater'

Mr Leak said: "These are flash floods, almost biblical as it feels at the time.

"We have essentially become our own emergency service."

"This can't continue, we desperately need more road surface water infrastructure to capture this heavy and consistent rainwater," he added.

Labour councillor Tim Rowkins, who chairs the council's City Environment South Downs and the Sea Committee, said: "Barely a council meeting goes by, either in my committee or in full council, when flooding and flood risk management doesn't come up."

He said the council's highways team had worked with Southern Water to investigate the drains in The Ridgeway and found it was damaged and had "physical obstructions" which had been repaired.

Mr Rowkins said if the issues continued then these repairs would have proved ineffective.

He said the council needed to work better with Southern Water.

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