Town had prepared well, say Hailsham councillors

Hailsham prepared for winter storms SUS-141103-144523001
Hailsham prepared for winter storms SUS-141103-144523001
Have your say

There were no reports of damaged trees or significant flooding in Hailsham during the recent storms which battered the country, thanks to preventative work by town council staff, say councillors.

High winds and floods brought much of the country to a standstill when storms lashed Britain.

But Steve McAuliffe and Paul Holbrook, joint oversight councillors for Environment at Hailsham Town Council, said the chaos and disruption wrought by the extreme weather was largely avoided in the town, because in the run up to winter, the town council’s Outdoor Works Team, headed by Richard Gillett, was hard at work preparing for winter winds and rain.

Cllr McAuliffe said: “During the long and distant summer of 2013, few people were focusing on potential problems that Hailsham could face in autumn and winter.

“An exception to this was the Outdoor Works Team which undertook drainage improvements to keep footpaths clear of standing rainfall, tree surveys to identify those at highest risk of wind damage that could affect residents and property, and clearing the many, largely unnoticed surface water drainage ditches that criss- cross Hailsham.

“Without an ongoing process of identifying hazards, removing risks and tackling underlying issues before they became problems, the story could have been significantly different.

“The team’s sterling efforts both before and during the bad weather kept the problems at bay. “Rain water flowed through the town’s drainage culverts and ditches, unstable trees were trimmed or removed and footpaths under the town council’s control were kept clear of prolonged puddles by new drainage ducts.

“The fact that the town council has not had any reports of tree damage or significant flooding is testament and reward for all the hard work that goes into winter planning. The team has done a fantastic job in very difficult circumstances.

“We certainly aren’t complacent about this at the council. There are still risks and problems to be kept on top of and we’re undertaking work on a daily basis to deal with things that may cause problems.

“The works team have been outstanding this winter and we cannot praise them highly enough.”