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RESIDENTS have hit out at claims by Wiltshire Council that they maintain and clean Clackers Brook following a story in the Melksham News.
In our last issue Wiltshire Council denied neglecting Clackers Brook, near Westbury View and this has sparked outrage from readers who claim the council is not telling the truth and the area is not routinely cleared and maintained.
Regarding Clackers Brook becoming a dangerously overgrown dumping ground, Wiltshire Council said, “The footpath in question is routinely inspected, and if we receive reports between inspections the appropriate additional actions are undertaken.
“Following a report, the nettles have be cleared and are no longer over hanging the path. The maintained areas of grass have also been mowed, however, the other wilderness areas of this section of Clackers Brook are not cut back as they form part of the local flood relief scheme. This space is not an open recreational area.”
Stephen Rolfe who lives at Dorset Crescent strongly disagrees with claims that the area is routinely inspected and sent in a series of emails to the Melksham News between himself and the council regarding Clackers Brook.
In the email exchange, Stuart Renfrew, community coordinator for the council claims to have walked the route in April and found no rubbish in the brook. This led Andrew Cadwallader, Wiltshire Council’s highways and streetscene engineer to write to Stephen Rolfe saying, “Wiltshire Council as the land drainage authority is responsible for the maintenance of this section of Clackers Brook to ensure it is working efficiently and not causing flooding. To this end the council periodically inspect the water course to ensure it is following unimpeded and if any rubbish is noted, arrangement will be made to remove it. Due to the limited resources available to the council it is not possible to react to every report of rubbish that might be in the brook.”
This response, as well as the denial by Wiltshire Council in our last issue, has angered Stephen Rolfe who said, “The gentleman who claims he saw nothing amiss during his walk along the bank in April, well may I suggest he may have been looking at the wrong brook as the rubbish has been evident for several months!
“The problem mainly stems from the houses which back onto the brook; for example, the two vacuum cleaners which were absently mindedly thrown over the garden fence.
“I am sure if I am here on this earth for at least another 30 years I shall persist in ensuring that something is done, I am prepared to hire a skip and with the aid of my neighbours, remove the rubbish ourselves.”
A letter has also been written to us from residents in Westbury View regarding the brook saying, “With regard to it being a flood plain. Everyone knows that, but if it was tidied up along there and the brook cleaned out, the floods would not be so bad. Surely the council can get the environment agency involved with this. This piece of land could be made to look quite attractive for a nature walk or as a haven for wildlife.
“Brooks and ditches are never cleaned out now. We have a good selection of bikes, supermarket trollies and scooters among the leading objects I have taken up to Bowerhill dump, so don’t you think the council can have a go at it now?”