Was Cumbernauld taken back by the rain, could more have been done?

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 15:54 BST on Thursday 12th July 2012.

We want your opinion on the debate below. First, read through the article to learn more about the debate and then get in involved through the contact details are the bottom of the article.

North Lanarkshire Council have published details which local residents can use to report flooding, a day after local residents went to Cumbernauld and Kilsyth’s MSP to minute their anger at North Lanarkshire Council’s lack of action against record rainfall, which shut off numerous Cumbernauld paths, roads and underpasses.

With July’s rainfall already up to 101.2mm, according to the Cumbernauld-Weather.co.uk, local residents have been angered by the council’s response, with Cumbernauld and Kilsyth’s MSP taking the decision to write to Gavin Whitefield, North Lanarkshire Council’s Chief Executive, to ask why no direct flood phone line is provided and why the local flood email address is not being responded to.

Talking to the Cumbernauld News, Jamie Hepburn MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth said: “I am very disappointed to learn of the experiences of my local constituents regarding the recent flooding… Reporting flooding through an e-mail system that is not responded to, or calling an indirect number that can only be accessed at particular times is an ineffective way of preventing and dealing with flooding.”

In an online article North Lanarkshire Council recognised that while “…flood management is a complex issue, we have in place a simple 24-hour reporting system for property owners and occupiers, residential and commercial, who may be affected.”

As a local authority, North Lanarkshire Council shares responsibility for dealing with flooding with a number of agencies, such as Scottish Water, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and the Scottish Government.

North Lanarkshire Council then go on to point out that people can contact their Northline Customer Contact Centre on 01698 403200, which is staffed daily from 08.00 to 18.00 with an out-of-hours facility, through the council's main switchboard on 01698 302222.

Online, North Lanarkshire Council then go on to point out that, “If property is at risk of flood and the occupier is concerned, we will take your details and pass them to our partner, Morrison Scotland Ltd, who will investigate the situation locally and, if necessary, arrange for sandbags.”

However, a council spokesperson adds: “Local authorities do not have a duty to supply sandbags and supplies could be limited during a flooding incident.

“It is important to understand that primary responsibility for protecting property rests with the occupier.”

Now, we what you views. Did North Lanarkshire Council fail, or do their best, when the rain hit? Could they better prepare, or was there just nothing they can do? To express your view on the matter, you can comment on our Facebook status, tweet us on Twitter, email us or get in touch through the ‘Contact Us’ page.