Following a meeting with local residents, Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, called on St Albans Council to take the lead in bringing together the different agencies who should be resolving Sandridge?s flood problems. He said: “The issue is made more pressing by confirmation of bromate in the water and by the spread of floodwater towards the village.?
Writing to St Albans District Council, Peter Lilley said: “There is serious concern amongst the residents, a concern that I share, that no agency appears to be taking the lead in resolving this problem and there is no evidence of any co-ordinated response amongst the different agencies.
“It is clear that nothing will happen unless and until someone takes the lead. So after discussion with Sandridge Counciilor, Chris Whiteside,I have asked St Albans District Council to undertake that role and to establish a working group involving the Council, the Environment Agency, the County Council/Highways Authority, the water companies, the police and any other relevant agency.
“It is clear that the water in House Lane is rising and spreading towards the houses on the outskirts of the village which it will reach before long if no further action is taken. In the short term, at the very least sandbags should be placed across the road to prevent the water reaching the houses.
“Most importantly, the discovery of bromate in the water raises two key issues. First, whether warnings should be posted to prevent the residents, in particular children, from imbibing the water; and second, how this contaminated water can be disposed of.?
Peter Lilley has also taken up the issue with the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott asking him to secure a meeting between the MP, the Environment Agency and Department of Environment officials to focus their attention on these problems. And at the suggestion of local Conservative Councillors he has asked the Defence Secretary whether Army or TA units could deploy ramps to restore and secure full usage of the flooded Sandridge to Wheathampstead road.