No funds to stop flooding, frustrated residents told

Kilcreggan residents whose homes are hit by flooding have been told the council has no funds to address the problem.Tigh Dearg

It would cost between £400,000 and £700,000 to fix the problem in Tigh Dearg Road, Cove and Kilcreggan Community Council heard this week.

But Jim Smith, Argyll and Bute Council’s head of roads and amenity services, said there were problems which were just as bad in places such as Helensburgh, Oban and Campbeltown and none of them could currently be fixed.

“At the moment we seem to simply have too great a volume of water to be carried down the pipe in Tigh Dearg Road,” he told the meeting.

He offered to bring drainage engineers to meet landowners ‘to see if there are any cheap, easy and relatively straightforward solutions’, but warned: “We have got insufficient budget to deal with the problems that we have got.”

Community council secretary Murdo MacDonald said the problem had been documented since 2011, and said to Mr Smith: “if you have known this for so long, why hasn’t the funding been in?

“Why hasn’t this been addressed at your level? Responsibilities entail activity – where is the activity?”

Mr Smith said applications for funding initial proposals would not be considered by the Scottish Government until 2016, adding: “We are responsible for certain items, in my view we are not failing.

“We have tested that through our legal system and through the ombudsman.”

He said residents could obtain help from the Scottish Flood Forum, but one frustrated resident said: “What happens when I get to the point where physically I can do no more? Do I sit back and let my house flood?

“Forums are not going to help me when I am six feet under with water again.

“We can’t get off our drives sometimes because of the amount of rubble that comes down.”

Community councillor John Auld said the Tigh Dearg problems could be traced back to ditches on Barbour Road – rainfall patterns were changing locally and there were also flooding problems on School Road and the Mill Brae.

“We have got a Victorian drainage system here and it is not going to get any better and the weather here is not going to get any better as well,” he said.

And another resident added: “There are lots of new houses being built on Barbour Road and Tigh Dearg Road, obviously the drainage is not sufficient.

“Every new house that gets build will just make this worse.”

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