VOTE: Vigilance plea over Barnham flooding

BE vigilant to flooding, was the key message at a Barnham meeting.

The need for residents to document and report flooding was made at Barnham Parish Council’s annual assembly on Monday by guest speaker Dr John Mason.

Dr Mason, the chairman of the Barnham Village Drainage Group (BVDG), was invited by councillors to give an informative talk on drainage issues concerning the parish.

He said: “We have had the second-driest April in 40 years – it would have been the driest if not for the thunderstorms in the last few days of the month.

“When it is sunny and dry, people forget about drainage issues, but they will come back and bite you on the bum.”

Dr Mason told residents of the main causes of flooding – surface water flooding caused by water run-off from fields, the overflowing of ditches and rifes, and the surcharge of foul sewage.

“These problems are not new, they go back years. They have been spelled out by the problems we have had specific to the Barnham area. They will not change as the underlying water movement will stay the same.

“Problems do not go away. You can build over them, you can hide them – but eventually they will come back,” he said.

Dr Mason described Barnham as a huge funnel which collected water from the Fontwell roundabout, Fontwell Avenue, and the Walberton Pond which then gushed down.

“The problem with Barnham is it is downstream of everyone. It is in a ten-square-mile funnel,” he added.

Dr Mason will also be speaking today at Eastergate Parish Council’s annual meeting, starting at 7pm in Eastergate Parish Hall.