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Attempts by Bishop's Cleeve man to stop flooding stopped by parish council

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: February 11, 2013

BEST EFFORTS: Paul with his invention to trap debris in the river

Comments (6)

A RESIDENT'S attempt to prevent flooding in Bishop's Cleeve have been blocked by the parish council.

Paul Holliday has created a wire contraption to help catch rubbish and stray branches along a stream in the sports field.

But despite placing it in the water on numerous occasions, it has been removed by the authority each time.

Paul, of Deacons Place, believed the contraption would prevent rubbish piling up and causing flooding on the A435.

He installed two iron pegs on both sides of the stream, joined by a thick wire mesh, to stop the litter from piling up further down.

But the parish council owns the sports field and half of the watercourse, where the contraption is.

He first put in the unofficial point in 2010, 25m from the blocked culvert. It was subsequently removed by the parish council.

During the heavy rainfall in August last year, Mr Holliday reinstalled the apparatus, which was again removed.

He tried installing it again on December 26 during the heavy rain over Christmas, and again on January 29. They were removed both times.

Mr Holliday said: "This is an injustice towards my diligent volunteer efforts.

"Worst of all however, is the irresponsible causing of flooding by the idiosyncratic feuding of just a few individuals.

"There has been a lack of responsibility from the parish council, and therefore I had to take action. This is supposed to be a team effort."

He fears his house, which is close to the overflow, could be flooded.

Mr Holliday added: "The apparatus is so successful because is so simple.

"It is just two stakes with a simple small roll of pig wire debris filter.

"It really works, and it is so effective.

" I had to lift so much rubbish that blocked the culvert that was blocking the flow of water.

"I've been fighting this for so many years."

He was inspired to find out the problem after he rescued a motorist who was flooded out on the A435 in 1985.

He said: "On that day I resolved that I would personally investigate the cause of flooding at that site if it happened again."

Bishop's Cleeve parish council declined to comment.

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  • verysceptical  |  February 14 2013, 10:10PM

    Probably find it backs onto his land and he is more concerned about his property flooding than being truly altruistic.

  • daveofglos  |  February 11 2013, 7:05PM

    Why can't the man TALK to the Parish Council? You can't do things on other people's land without permission!

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  • geraint2010  |  February 11 2013, 2:30PM

    No doubt Mr Holliday's actions are well meaning but his barrier could quickly get clogged forming a dam causing flooding upstream. His time might be better spent organising a team of volunteers to keep the stream free from debris along its entire course.

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  • Bonkim2003  |  February 11 2013, 2:27PM

    GlosAnarchy - yes this chap may not have looked at all aspects and appears to have been removing the debris captured on the screen. The parish council could have checked with the EA/local council to work out a solution - yes this chap has no right to interfere with a water course however well intentioned - equally the parish council could have gone that extra mile trying to explain/work with him - after all we all do things assuming that will benefit the community - today's legal/H&S legislation and division of responsibilities make that impossible. You will be surprised at the after effects of many an operation undertaken by experts and on the face of it trying to capture some debris from entering the culvert is not such a bad idea - even purpose built screens need maintenance/periodic clearance.

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  • GlosAnarchy  |  February 11 2013, 11:08AM

    Bomkim2003 I would like to see a picture of the culvert lower down the watercourse to see what size "rubbish" would be required to block it. This screen will act as a dam and WILL cause erosion of the bank either side or when it's collected sufficient material will break free and potentially block the culvert itself making the situation worse. Would this also be an offence under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010?

  • Bonkim2003  |  February 11 2013, 6:49AM

    Dog in the manger parish council - this chap is simply putting a wire screen to trap the debris from blocking the culvert - I would have thought the parish council better employed in devising some sort of a permanent catch pit/screen in conjunction with the environment agency rather than stifle such voluntary effort.

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