Council sparks fury asking locals to clean out public drains THEMSELVES because they are 'too busy' in winter
Raging locals blasted Lancashire County Council – demanding to know why they should bother paying council tax for the service.
Others fumed they would invoice the authority for the work they put in to keep the streets clear and vented people would soon be made to fix pot holes on their own roads too.
Winter floods have devastated Lancashire in recent years, with the worst in modern times caused by Storm Desmond in 2015.
Heavy rain swamped streets, shops and homes in villages including Lancaster and the village of Galgate.
When the storm struck in 2015, thousands of homes were flooded in Lancashire and 42,000 homes lost power when an electricity sub-station flooded.
In preparation for this year Lancashire County Council issued an appeal for locals to clear the leaves out of public highway drains.
County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "If there is a problem with water backing up [on drains], and people are able to do so safely, we're asking them to consider brushing the blockage to one side to see if that works.
"If that clears the blockage, we'd ask them to please clean up the leaves and dispose of them.
"If more people cleared leaves from drains during the autumn it could help to ensure they're fully working when it rains heavily.
"During the autumn we often find the problem is simply caused by leaves lying on top of the grate which act like a plug and stop the water flowing down."
The request drew fury from the public – who argued that leaf clearing from public highways should be what they pay their council tax for.
Local John Clark quipped: "More than happy to oblige and assist our county council – please advise me how much you will be reducing my council tax bill by?"
Unimpressed Margaret Heaps posted on Facebook: "There's a council machine that does this! It used to be done every year."
Christine Grainger said: "Council Workers need to pick them up instead of blowing them about.
"The leaves are off council trees so the council should pick them up."
Angry Lorna Dennett fumed: "If the council tax doesn't cover this, why can't the council speak to the probation service and request a community payback team?
"A lot fairer than asking the likes of pensioners and the disabled or those out working silly hours to do this!"
Helen Hawkins asked: "Shall I dredge the river at the end of our road too whilst I'm at it?
"We pay a fortune in council and get very few services living in a village."
Joanne Hughes fumed: "Unbelievable! I reported the drains on my road a couple of months back, wasn't leaves it was silt!"
The council argue say the majority of problems could be prevented simply by removing leaves from the top of drains, so this week issued their request for public help.
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