Council promises to jet wash village’s blocked gullies after repeat of flooding

Lincolnshire County Council has confirmed plans to jet-wash blocked gullies in Leadenham following persistent flooding, which has left residents and businesses fearing further property damage during heavy rainfall.
Water running down and gathering at the bottom of Sleaford Road, Leadenham. Photo: Martyn EverettWater running down and gathering at the bottom of Sleaford Road, Leadenham. Photo: Martyn Everett
Water running down and gathering at the bottom of Sleaford Road, Leadenham. Photo: Martyn Everett

The council intends to flush out the gullies along the A607 outside Leadenham Post Office as an urgent measure to mitigate ongoing flood risks, with a full clean scheduled for January.

The announcement comes after a plea from Leadenham Parish Councillor Martyn Everett, who highlighted significant flooding along Sleaford Road.

He alleged that drains were either completely buried or blocked, exacerbating the flood risk.

Coun Everett reported the issue to FixMyStreet Lincolnshire and communicated with local authorities, calling for emergency action to address the longstanding issue, rather than awaiting scheduled maintenance.

In emails to the authority, he emphasized the situation’s severity: “Today (Monday, November 27), again sandbags were used to prevent flood water from entering the premises as vehicles drove along the flooded A607.”

“The drains have not been cleared for at least two years, possibly longer,” he stated.

“On LCC’s website, they claim to clean all gullies and kerb drains annually to reduce the risk of highways flooding.”

The flooding has severely impacted local areas, especially the main road and the Post Office forecourt.

Postmistress Karen Smith has resorted to using sandbags to protect the premises.

“I live in constant fear of heavy rain causing flooding and damage to the post office, an essential community service,” she said.

Following the June 2018 flooding of the adjacent former tea rooms, Karen has kept sandbags ready for heavy rain. The tea rooms were forced to close in 2018 until the building dried out with flooring and equipment being replaced.

She recounted a recent incident during Storm Babet in October, which took place while a craft fare and workshop was in session.

“It was quite bad during the storm. The ladies had to leave early because nobody could pull into the post office car park, as it was several inches deep in water.

“I’ve been here nearly 11 years, and there’s always been a problem with the outside drain,” Karen added.

“When it rains heavily, water from Sleaford Road hill accumulates in the drain outside the post office, creating a huge puddle.

“Especially this time of the year when obviously they get full of rubbish and leaves and everything else.

“It tends to really accumulate outside, especially with the lorries passing by, swooshing water up to the door, so I always have to have my sandbags to hand.”

Lincolnshire County Council said it had had only two reports of drainage issues in the area since August 2012.

“With two reports to us in 11 years, this area is currently not considered high risk,” they stated.

The spokesperson clarified that drains on Sleaford Road had been cleansed in May 2022, but that those on the A607 were on a different cycle and had been delayed.

“The gullies in question are due for our cyclical clean in January, and ahead of that, we will carry out jetting in this area as part of our ongoing work following Storm Babet.”

The spokesperson said officers had inspected the area and had not reported drains being buried.

However, they acknowledged that jetting drains might not resolve all issues.

“If there’s a problem with the drainage system’s capacity further along, certain drains may be overwhelmed in severe weather,” they explained.

“LCC is committed to extra resources for drainage cleansing, including gully cleansing, for this year and next.

“Our teams will also perform a targeted system cleanse to improve gully cleaning where significant issues are known.”