Flood-hit residents ‘stuck indoors for more than a week’

Reblogged with thanks to Get Surrey and author Russell Butt.

People living on the Northern Burway, sandwiched between the Thames and Laleham Golf Club, have been effectively cut off from Chertsey and feel neglected by the authorities.

Jacqui Jones (yellow jacket) with Paul Wells and Helen Saxey-Santillo
Jacqui Jones (yellow jacket) with Paul Wells and Helen Saxey-Santillo

Marooned Chertsey residents have criticised the Environment Agency (EA) and Runnymede Borough Council for a lack of support following the recent floods.

People living on the Northern Burway, sandwiched between the Thames and Laleham Golf Club, have been effectively cut off from Chertsey and feel neglected by the authorities.

Only those with waders or 4×4 vehicles have been able to drive out through the floodwater to replenish food and supplies.

Pensioner Helen Saxey-Santillo has been unable to leave her home for more than a week, with the water measuring 3ft-deep in her garden.

She was advised during a phone call to the EA to leave her home but with her diminutive stature and freezing waters, the petite 78-year-old felt safer staying put.

“Luckily the house has not been flooded but that is largely due to the fact that after the floods of 2003 we had it raised, otherwise we would definitely have been flooded this time,” she said.

She added: “I have not been outside for eight days now and my husband is 81 and not very well, so he’s not been out either.

“Until Monday, we had not heard from any of the authorities.

“When I rang the Environment Agency and asked if someone was coming to visit, they said they had ‘done Laleham Reach’ – but we’re not Laleham Reach, we’re Northern Burway.

“It has taken a week for the EA to take any interest in us.”

Jacqui Jones and husband Mike live two doors down from Mrs Saxey-Santillo.

They believe the flooding problem was exacerbated by land works undertaken at Laleham Golf Club in 2010, which was approved retrospectively by Runnymede Borough Council in 2012, despite objections from the couple about flooding.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “We did not object to the application, as we were satisfied that the proposals would not result in a detrimental impact on floodplain storage.

“In December, the River Thames catchment received almost twice the normal amount of rain and a month’s worth of rain fell in the first week of January.”

He added: “We have worked hard throughout the duration of this incident to warn people of the risks of flooding and inform them about the situation as it has developed.”

Mrs Jones and her husband fortunately have a four-wheel drive car and waders so have been able to drive to shops but said that many other residents are elderly and less mobile

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About Roger Nield MBE

Safety Director for the SMPL Organisation and supporting our Vulnerable Veterans Programme.
This entry was posted in Chertsey, Re-Pressed - Local Media, Spot Light and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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