19 February 2021
Vara backs campaign to improve drainage in Sawtry

Shailesh Vara MP has teamed up with Cllr. Simon Bywater in calling upon Anglian Water to improve the drainage system in Sawtry, Huntingdonshire. This follows many years of surface water flooding and sewage drainage problems.

Following floods over many years, local residents have been reporting problems to Anglian Water but to date little action has been taken to remedy the repeated problems. Recent weather conditions have again heightened the need for improvement as many residents experienced flooding to their properties, including sewage overflowing from drains. In some cases, residents have been unable to even flush toilets due to the pressure on the system.

Research carried out by Cllr. Bywater has shown that the last drain survey in Sawtry was carried out in 1850 and since then Sawtry has grown substantially and undergone many changes. This includes many new housing developments which have added more pressure to the existing drainage network.

Working with Cllr. Bywater, who lives in Sawtry, Mr Vara has written to Anglian Water’s Chief Executive, Mr Peter Simpson asking for Anglian Water to work with Cambridgeshire County Council in conducting a drain survey at the earliest opportunity and find a long-term solution to the ongoing problems.

Mr Vara said:

“I am working with Cllr. Simon Bywater to try to secure a better and upgraded drainage system in Sawtry. At times of floods, over many years, local residents have been suffering with surface water and the drainage of sewage and the need for long overdue work is now very pressing.

I have written to Peter Simpson, the Chief Executive of Anglian Water, urging Anglian Water to work with Cambridgeshire County Council to undertake a thorough drainage survey to determine the problems and then take the necessary remedial action”

Cllr. Simon Bywater added:

“Sawtry has had significant flooding issues over many years and it’s clear to me that the man-made drainage system under the village is not functioning properly when we have any noticeable rainfall.

I am calling on Anglian Water in conjunction with Cambridgeshire County Council the lead flood authority to carry out a full drainage survey of the village in order that we can understand what the problems are and who is responsible for addressing them.

Until then the problems that we have seen in the village will just continue and this is not acceptable for our residents.”