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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Flood advice in Carlisle 'only available 9 to 5'

The former manager of a Carlisle bowls club has hit out at the city council after he rang an emergency number for help as floods crept near the club – only to hear a message telling him to call back during office hours.

David Taylor photo
David Taylor

David Taylor, former manager of Cumbria Indoor Bowls Centre, on Carlisle’s Viaduct estate, was called by worried members on Monday night as pools of water started appearing in the car park.

He called the number listed on the city council website as the ‘emergency helpline’ but was stunned to hear a recorded message asking him to call back during office hours.

Mr Taylor then went to the council depot at Bousteads Grassing for sandbags but found none. “What’s the point of an emergency helpline that’s only office hours?” he said.

“Bousteads Grassing was all closed up. I rang the number [displayed] and spoke to a man in Sunderland.” Mr Taylor eventually rang the fire service two hours later and they came out at 2.30am to pump away the rising water.

“They saved us from disaster,” he said.

“This year, the council is charging £3,500 business rates but when you need them they are not there.”

A spokeswoman for the council said the recorded message went on to give police numbers to call who would be able to contact council officials. She said officials called Mr Taylor in the early hours of yesterday.

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