…and then the rains came – A message from the Mayor

One months rain in an hour! Barnstaple yesterday experienced horrific flooding and we have seen many photos of how the drainage system just didn’t work. This was a rare occurrence but here in Ilfracombe periodic flooding is commonplace. We are in a valley alongside the sea.

Image: Simon Ellery

Image: Caitlyn Ebsworthy

Our sympathies go out to Barnstaple but let’s understand where the responsibility lies.

Drains are cleared once every three years (!) by Devon County Council. Last year Ilfracombe Town Council identified ‘critical’ drains that had to be cleared urgently. There were over 80! We had to pay a ‘per drain‘ fee to get them done ‘out of rota’.

We did as much as we could afford. Ilfracombe has outdoor staff that are able and willing but not allowed to because of the required training (handling needles and other unsavoury items).

Please understand our dilemma- this is an issue for the County Council and I know our County Councillors do their utmost to influence a change in policy.

Problems with flooding and blocked drains should be reported directly to Devon County Council on their website by clicking here