RESIDENTS who were flooded out of their Botcherby homes in Carlisle earlier this year still have not been able to return, it has been claimed.

Councillor Robert Betton (Botcherby, Independent Group) was speaking at Tuesday's (July 9) meeting of Cumberland Council at the Civic Centre in Carlisle.

He directed his question to councillor Denise Rollo (Harrington, Labour), the portfolio holder for sustainable, resilient and connected places, and his question was taken as read.

In the question he said: "During the recent heavy rainfall three properties, in Botcherby, housing residents were flooded and had to be evacuated and are still not back in their homes.

"This is not the first time such an incident has occurred, and it has become apparent that the underlying problem lies with the combined sewer and water pipe system managed by United Utilities and Cumberland Highways.

"As we have witnessed during periods of high river water levels, this system is incapable of coping with the increased water flow. This was evident again just four weeks ago, and it raises serious questions about the adequacy and reliability of our infrastructure.

"Given that these issues were identified following Storm Desmond, it is alarming that no effective remedial action has been taken to address and rectify the situation.

"The continuous recurrence of flooding poses significant risks to our community, and it is imperative that steps are taken to mitigate these risks as a matter of urgency."

He said that his questions to cllr Rollo were:

Why has the underlying problem with the combined sewer and water pipe system not been resolved, despite its identification post-Storm Desmond?

What specific measures are being planned or implemented to ensure that this issue is addressed comprehensively and promptly?

Can the council provide a timeline for when residents can expect these measures to be completed?

What support and resources are being made available to the affected residents in the interim to prevent further damage and ensure their safety?

He added: "The current situation is untenable, and the well-being of our community is at stake. I urge the council to prioritise this matter and take decisive action to protect our residents from future flooding events."

Cllr Rollo said that she had checked and United Utilities were only contacted by the daughter of one of the residents nine days after the event and the problem was with land surface overflow and not linked with the sewer network. She added: "The council is aware of the flooding and is carrying out investigation work."

Cllr Rollo said remedial measures would be put in places once the cause was known and a total of 110 properties were flooded during the recent event.

Cllr Betton said he did not accept the response and it was almost 10 years since Storm Desmond. He added: "We've had long enough to resolve this."

But, cllr Rollo said that, as the local ward councillor, cllr Betton could have contacted United Utilities himself rather than wait for the nine days until the resident's daughter to do so.