RESIDENTS made an impassioned plea to council chiefs and politicians after suffering recent flood devastation.

On Sunday night, residents gathered at Sandycroft community centre for a heated public meeting to discuss the recent flooding during Storm Babet which badly affected the village.

Among those in attendance were Alyn & Deeside Senedd Member, Jack Sargeant, Flintshire Council's planning strategy manager, Andy Roberts, cabinet member for Streetscene, Cllr Dave Hughes and Cllr Alasdair Ibbotson - who appeared on behalf of Mark Tami MP. 

Also in attendance were local county councillors, as well as community councillors. Among them was Dee Milner - who joined the community council due to the flooding issues. She was one of the residents to once again have her home flooded. 

She said: "It's not good enough and it has to stop. This cannot go on. My heart goes out to every single person who suffered the devastating effects of flooding once again. 

"Will it require us taking those responsible for keeping our properties safe from it to court to get these issues resolved?"

Calls for action about flooding in Sandycroft came in 2021, and that same year, a joint authority action plan on dealing with flooding issues was produced. But two years on, the same issues remain. 

In the two-hour meeting, numerous residents voiced their anger that homes had been flooded for the fourth time in as many years. The latest instance has once again seen families displaced - with the meeting hearing the case of one family who will be in a hotel until at least April due to the flooding in their home. 

Residents said they didn't have sandbags delivered, and questioned why Chester Road wasn't closed until 8pm - despite calls for it to be first thing on the Friday morning. They said waves created by cars on Chester Road worsened the flooding at nearby properties. 

Some residents said they are threatening to not pay their council tax until the issues are dealt with. 

Ian Gibbons, who chaired the meeting, said he had been forced to spend £16,000 on mechanisms to prevent future flooding at his property. 

The meeting heard from Andy Roberts - who said that Flintshire Council has launched a Section 19 flood investigation following the flood during Storm Babet. 

Mr Roberts said, while most communities across Flintshire were hit by flooding, the drainage system in Sandycroft is unable to cope with high levels of rainfall. He said that a one-metre wide pipe is having to cope with 1,000 metres of river that runs under Chester Road. 

He said that of the three organisations responsible for drainage systems in the area - only Natural Resources Wales (NRW) had failed to properly clear its drains out. It had been tasked with clearing out the Pentre Drain 18 months ago - but Mr Roberts said NRW only managed to unblock half before "running out of money". He added that Flintshire Council had given NRW a £75,000 grant to help fund the completion of the work - which still hasn't taken place. 

Sara Pearson, NRW operations manager for flood risk and water management, told the Leader this week: “Flooding can be devastating and our thoughts are with those affected by the heavy rainfall triggered by Storm Babet which impacted several communities across North East and Mid Wales.

“NRW continues to work in partnership with Flintshire County Council (FCC) as part of a long-term and complex project to improve flood risk management in Sandycroft and Pentre.

“NRW, accompanied by FCC, attended the area in June 2023 to establish the direction of flow, water levels, and any additional incoming connections into manhole chambers along Pentre Drain North adjacent to Chester Road.

“A topographical survey of the area of interest and a bed level survey has been undertaken, and NRW also commissioned a CCTV drainage survey along Pentre Drain North to establish current condition and to inform the required clearance and repair works."

She added: “As climate change brings more extreme weather events, we will not be able to stop all flooding. We will continue to work with Flintshire County Council to identify options to reduce flood risk in this area.


“Whilst we continue to deal with the aftermath of Storm Babet, another quickly approaches us in Storm Ciarán, with NRW staff currently readying defences and doubling up on duty rotas to help protect communities across Wales over the coming days.”

Other issues raised at the meeting included Flintshire Council's budget deficit of £14million. Cllr Dave Hughes said the budget black hole could mean some public services could be cut. 

There was also a call made for a community storage facility which would be full of sandbags and other items needed in a flood response that would be readily available for use when needed. 

With heavy rainfall forecast for Thursday with another storm on the way, residents will once again be fearing a repeat of Storm Babet's flooding.