The leader of Burnley Council has expressed his shock at the scale of flooding that devastated parts of the borough over Christmas.
Coun. Mark Townsend also praised the community spirit of residents in Padiham who turned out in their hundreds to help with the clean-up operation.
He said: “I want to offer my commiserations to everyone in the borough affected by the awful floods on Boxing Day.
“The scenes we have witnessed were shocking and it was very sad to see homes and businesses so badly affected.
“The community spirit shown by residents who mucked in to help their neighbours was very impressive.
“I want to thank them, the emergency services and our own staff who have helped with the clean-up operation.”
After the clear-up my priority will be to make sure this never happens again – and I will be personally raising the matter with the Prime Minister to demand reassurances that preventative action will be takenMP Julie Cooper
Coun. Townsend said emergency centres, housed in leisure buildings across the borough, were on standby but were thankfully not needed.
The council leader said the authority would now be working closely with the Environment Agency to lessen the impact of any future floods.
Burnley did not suffer the same degree of flooding as Padiham, but the village of Worsthorne was hit.
Resident Raynor Pepper said: “A lot of water was running down from Gorple Green where a dyke has been blocked for some time.
“The village square was quite badly flooded by mid morning on Boxing Day and there were lots of people brushing out water from their homes.
“I know that cellars were flooded in Water Street and I saw people there form a human chain passing buckets of water.”
Raynor added that people in the village were unable to get through on a council phone number posted for those wanting sandbags.
Burnley MP Julie Cooper, meanwhile, said she would be demanding the Government take action to ensure there was no repeat of the Boxing Day floods.
She said: “I am truly shocked by the devastation caused by the floods in Padiham and parts of Burnley and share the upset that many local people are feeling – especially having to face this over the Christmas period.
“But as the local MP I have been incredibly proud to see the Padiham spirit shine through as the whole community has come together to help one another.
“My thoughts are with all the families and local businesses affected by the floods and as I said when I visited Padiham in the aftermath, I will be working with the community to help Padiham get back on its feet.
“After the clear-up my priority will be to make sure this never happens again – and I will be personally raising the matter with the Prime Minister to demand reassurances that preventative action will be taken.”