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Stafford council "not legally obliged" to provide sandbags to flood-fearing residents

By Kerry.Ashdown  |  Posted: February 12, 2014

FLOOD FEARS . . . Surface water on Sandon Road in Stafford yesterday (Tuesday)

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RESIDENTS concerned their homes and gardens may be at risk of flooding have been warned not to rely on their local council to supply sandbags.

Stafford Borough councillor Tom Harris, who was contacted on Tuesday by a Queensville resident facing rising water in her garden, said his enquiries of the borough council revealed they were “not obliged by law” to provide them to the public.

Staffordshire Prepared, which offers advice for emergencies and major incidents to residents and businesses, said sandbags held by local authorities were for emergency service use only, but they could be bought from builders' merchants and DIY centres.

A statement on the borough council’s website said: “It is the responsibility of a home owner to protect their property from the risk of flooding. We do provide assistance to the emergency services when called upon (but) the council only has sandbags for the use of the emergency services.”

The Environment Agency has advised affected residents to contact their local builders' merchants to obtain sand and bags, or seek suppliers of modern non-sand bags designed for flooding on the National Flood Forum Blue Pages Directory. But the agency warned sandbags were ineffective for groundwater flooding.

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