Delight as drain and ditch clearance finally prevents flooding in Little Walden

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) is delighted that its councillors have worked with Essex County Council to prioritise and deliver the recent drain clearance operations at Stone Bridge to stop the Little Walden Road flooding for the first time in years. The picture above shows the regular flooding in Little Walden before the recent drain clearance operations. As a result of the clearance programme, after last Thursday’s heavy rain, there was no flood.

Paul Gadd (R4U) Paul Gadd (R4U)

R4U’s Cllr Paul Gadd, ECC Saffron Walden division councillor, said “Regular flooding at Stone Bridge has been a long-standing problem that has frustrated Little Walden residents; and it has got worse in recent years. Since I was elected to ECC in May this year, R4U town councillors Katherine Gregory and Arthur Coote and I have worked closely with local residents and ECC’s drainage team to try to resolve it.”

Cllr Gadd continued “ECC carried out preliminary drain clearance works earlier in the year followed by major works, including hiring a specialist digger, at the start of November. The drains had become blocked and there was a large silt blockage in the adjoining drainage ditch which prevented the drain from operating. Residents need landowners to make sure that they clear their ditches to prevent future incidents like this. ECC have cleared as much of the ditch as they could access, and Saffron Walden Town Council has contacted the landowners to ask them to clear the rest of their ditch and make sure that it is kept clear.”

Katherine Gregory (R4U) Katherine Gregory (R4U)

Cllr Katherine Gregory, who is the SWTC ward councillor for Little Walden, added “Despite the extremely heavy rain overnight on Thursday last week, which caused widespread local flooding, Stone Bridge has remained unflooded. That was the first major test. We are delighted that it didn’t flood last week and hopeful it has now been fixed. I am really pleased that the village finally has a solution.”

About Residents for Uttlesford

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) is the local independent party of north-west Essex towns and villages. Formed in 2014 by a number of residents’ groups, the party believes that on local issues residents should decide, not Westminster parties. R4U’s success has been based on the desire to give local people a voice and implement long range strategic and sustainable plans for their area.

R4U leads Uttlesford District Council (UDC). In its first election in 2015 it became the second party at UDC. In the May 2019 R4U took majority control of UDC by gaining two-thirds of the seats. Since then it has set about re-engineering the now award-winning council operates, rebuilding the finances and fixing how planning is done. In 2021 the party won half the Essex County Council seats in Uttlesford district.

R4U also leads Saffron Walden Town Council, where under its stewardship the council has rebuilt finances, invested in community assets, and won multiple awards, including the best run council in Essex. It is a minority party on Great Dunmow Town Council.

Residents for Uttlesford can be found on the web at