Update on Syston Floods

On Monday 11th March your editor attended a TEAMS video meeting with the Environment Agency (EA) along other members of the public who are on the Syston Flood Focus group, Syston Town Councillors and the Town Manager.
David Towle from the EA gave a presentation explaining their role and how they have taken over the monitoring of the Barkby Brook since it was designated a Main River in 2006 from Deville Park through the town to where it meets the River Wreake. The reason given was due to the 25km2 of mainly farm land run off that goes into the Barkby Brook above Syston.
He also confirmed about the role of riparian owners, Local lead flood authority Leicestershire County Council, who also have permissive powers like the EA to clear watercourses, that aren’t main rivers. He added that Seven Trent and Highways are risk management authorities and work together.
He emphasised that any problems seen by the public should be reported to the EA and gave the details below:
For more information or to contact the EA:
Call: 03708 506 506
email: EMDenquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk
Incident hotline: 0800 807 060
Please use this number, which is open 24 hours a day, to report incidents such as flooding, blockages, unusual flow of water, damaged flood defences or pollution.
To find our more about our maintenance activities, please visit:
Consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/east-midlands/flood-risk-management
Incident hotline: 0800 807 060
Please use this number, which is open 24 hours a day, to report incidents such as flooding, blockages, unusual flow of water, damaged flood defences or pollution.
To be fair they can’t be everywhere at once!
So if you see any blockages, or anything preventing the water to flow please do contact the EA via the hotline number above.
He said the level of flooding that was caused by storms Henk and Babet affected a huge area and was the worst seen in the East Midlands since1947.
He also confirmed that the de-silting will take place during the financial year 2024/25 and that the river level gauge will be ungraded before the end of the calendar year.
Future plans will be guided by the information gained at the drop in held in Syston on 20th March, where they plan to collect evidence from those affected by the floods. There will be a property flood resilience grant available via Leicestershire County Council, plus ongoing maintenance.
Questions asked after his presentation included one about whether or not the EA took over Riparian ownership to which he replied no, they just transferred the permissive powers from Charnwood Borough Council to the EA. He was asked about the build up of silt and he said that they would bring answers to that question to the drop in – so hopefully next issue we can update you. It was questioned as to whether the monthly inspections actually took place as residents present have never seen anyone in the brook checking it.
We will continue to up date you all, one update is that the Stn received a reply to our question about the sluice gates, we can confirm that these are owned by the Canals and Rivers trust, they are only used to maintain the weir, they said they have never been asked to open them to relieve flooding in Syston.
We hope that after all these investigations, the agencies will work together to put the Barkby brook back to the condition it was in 2004 and maintain it to avoid any future flooding of homes in Syston.