One year on from the local flooding incidents of last summer, local MP, David Rutley, was updated on the actions that are being taken forward to address flood risk in Poynton by expert engineers from United Utilities. 

The team showed David how they have actively been offering support and advice on blocked culverts in the local area, with more of this activity planned for the months ahead. They also demonstrated how digital imaging and clearance equipment is being used to find problems that could contribute to flooding in the future.

Important investigatory work and mapping exercises have also been undertaken to help the team better understand how other drainage systems in the area interact with the public sewer network. Using technology, such as monitoring devices and cameras, to observe the drainage network helps to manage the flow of water during periods of heavy rainfall. 

United Utilities, which has responsibility for the public sewer network in our area, actively shares this information and works collaboratively with other organisations that have responsibilities for managing flood risk, including Cheshire East Council and the Environment Agency. 

Cheshire East Council, as lead Local Flood Authority, ultimately has responsibility for overall flood risk management in Poynton and other local communities. As such, it also is accountable for the completion of the Section 19 Flood Investigation Report, which will set out the causes and impact of last summer’s flooding and recommend a plan of action to enhance future flood resilience. It is understood that this report will be reviewed at a Cheshire East Council meeting in the months ahead. 

Solving the cause of flooding is a complex matter. It involves Natural Flood Management in the upstream catchment area, water courses, highway drainage, privately owned culverts and the public sewer network. Understanding how each system interacts will help inform decisions and develop plans to reduce serious flooding in the future.

Steve Kenyon, Drainage Area Manager from United Utilities, explained to David that: “This latest investigation work we are carrying out will help identify for example whether any highway drainage could be separated from the public sewer network, which if addressed will help ease the flood risk. We will have regular presence in the area, completing engineering work on three surface outfalls, in Vernon Road, Third Avenue and Parklands Way. 

“We need to be clear, not one organisation working in isolation will be able to protect residents in Poynton from future flooding, and we are keen to drive a partnership approach forward and will be sharing all our findings with key partners to help improve the overall flood risk management in the area.”

After the visit, David said, “It has been nearly a year since the flooding events of last summer, so it is positive to see progress being made by United Utilities and other stakeholders. It will be vital for all the key stakeholders, including Cheshire East Council and the Environment Agency, as well as United Utilities, to work in a collaborative partnership following the publication of the Section 19 Report. This will enable the delivery of a clear action plan that is required to address the concerns of local residents, many of whom who were affected by flooding incidents in both 2016 and 2019 – it remains a vital priority for impacted communities.”