flooding in Nantwich in October

A Nantwich resident has blasted Cheshire East Council for failing to publish its investigation into a serious flooding event – more than four years ago!

Trevor Evans was one of a number of residents and businesses who suffered when River Weaver burst its banks in October 2019 after days of torrential rain.

Some had to be evacuated and the flooding and the failure of water levels to trigger warnings, led Cheshire East Council and the Environment Agency to stage a public meeting at Nantwich Civic Hall.

Lead Local Flood Authorities like CEC must by law investigate serious flooding incidents and publish its findings in a Section 19 report.

Yet, four years and three months later, the report still remains unpublished, which Mr Evans labelled “a scandal”.

And Mr Evans, who lives on Welsh Row, says he has been fobbed off with excuse after excuse by the council.

“At that public meeting, it was suggested that the report would be brought together in 18 months and would be widely disseminated,” he said.

“The views of residents were canvassed at the meeting with much dissatisfaction expressed regarding river management – failure to clear blockages and build up of silt and undergrowth in the river, alleged failure to open sluice gates, failure of the flood warning system and concern the actual flooding did not mirror the published guidance in the published flood risk zone mapping.

“Through the good offices of various councillors I have been chasing for an answer as to why the report hasn’t appeared.

“The excuses range from Covid, staff changes (when the need to prepare the report at all had been ‘forgotten”).

“I have a file of requests but no answers. I have lived here for 15 years. In the first 11, I recall one near flood incident.

“Then came 2019 – acknowledged as a serious incident. Similarly 2021, then the back end of 2023 and a near miss this January.

flooding in Nantwich (1)

“This is not climate change it is river (mis)management.

“The river which has a high burden of solids (sand) is silting up, undergrowth especially Himalayan Balsam is invasive at the banks, sluices are mismanaged etc.

“Yet we still do not have the report and nothing has been done to alleviate the situation/minimise risk in the last four years.”

Mr Evans was force to resort to a Freedom of Information request before Christmas to access the report, but again CEC declined to release it.

“It appears that Cheshire East does not ‘give a toss’ about flooding in Nantwich, such that almost four years and three months after the October 2019 flooding event and noting several repeat incidents in 2021, 2023 and earlier this month in 2024, you tell me that the Section 19 Report (required in law under the relevant Act), will only be available ‘in the coming months’.

“I might point out that in April 2023 former Councillor David Marren was advised publication was imminent, subject to legal clearance, while more recently Councillor Anna Burton was told the report was going through final ‘quality control’ checks.

“What priority has been given to completing this exercise, how many months should we now wait?

“This is a Health and Safety issue in several areas of Nantwich bordering the River Weaver and the failure of the council to prepare the report in a timely manner is a matter of public interest.

flooding in Nantwich
flooding in Nantwich

“It is now an open question as to whether a future serious flooding event occurs before the report finally appears, and before any recommendations to alleviate the continuing flood risk can be even considered.

“Hopefully we can look to the report, when it appears, to advise on lessons learned, with suggestions for better river management in times of high rainfall.

“Or alternatively do we just sit back, blame climate change, sit on our hands and wait to take pretty photos of Mill Island and surrounding areas under water?”

Nantwich Town Cllr Anna Burton said: “I have been a councillor for seven months, so this issues pre-dates my tenure.

“I have been chasing the report on behalf of a resident.

“The primary reason for the hold-up appears to be that this report was with the previous Head of Highways for their sign off.

“Unfortunately, it appears that they didn’t manage to complete their full review before leaving the council.

“I appreciate that this report should have been published some time ago. I do appreciate the frustration of the resident.”

We contacted Cheshire East Council for a comment seven days ago.

We are still awaiting a reply.


  1. Dabber Dave says:

    Typical wingers, the same people forever moaning council tax is too high are the ones whining the rivers aren’t dredged. Where do they think the money comes from?

  2. This is the tip of the iceberg .
    And CEC allow house builders to build on flood plains.
    Do they not realise CEC. That water from gullies ect are not capable of talking it and the sewage system is out of date and becoming unfit for purpose.
    All CEC think of is greed and rate’s, same as the water company’s.
    When will they ever learn.
    The sewage system,gulls are not fit for purpose.

  3. Something else this crappy council can’t get right.
    Who are these people and why do we pay them?
    The only thing they manage to actually do successfully is to make cuts, and penalise us for their incompetence and failures.

  4. Chris Moorhouse says:

    It is evident from this article that Councillors have no authority to order Officers to produce the report or they are unwilling to do so, and they (Officers) even ignore press requests.
    If this is the case, one might ask why we need Councillors and just let the cowboys rule the range or in this case be pirates of the River Weaver.
    This cannot be allowed to go on, someone needs to sort it out, perhaps the new CE of CEC can take up the challenge?

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