Public should be told flood plans for town

There was concern at one point for the safety of the Sparling Bridge as debris built up creating a massive amount of pressure on the footwalk over the Cree.''GG 2011054 12
There was concern at one point for the safety of the Sparling Bridge as debris built up creating a massive amount of pressure on the footwalk over the Cree.''GG 2011054 12

A call is being made to assure the public that flood prevention measures in Newton Stewart are being considered.

Several suggestions have been made since the big flood of 2012 threatened the town centre, including raising the Sparling Bridge and carrying out works to the gravel beds.

But no action has been taken yet to begin any works and community councillors are growing concerned that thepublic is being kept in the dark.

Cree Valley Community Council chairman Tom Greenaway has now said the time had come for Dumfries and Galloway Council to speak up about its plans.

He said at a meeting of the community council on Monday that there is a school of thought suggesting a build-up of gravel on the Cree bed is restricting the ability of water to pass through the Cree Bridge’s arches safely.

But Mr Greenaway added: “This is not the opinion of experts, however, who feel that is not an issue. We need assurances from the council that something – anything – is actually being looked at. There are options which have been considered but which now need action.”

He suggested asking the army to come back and help lift the Sparling Bridge, which they originally fitted. Councillor Alistair Geddes said he believed recommended works would require to be funded through revenue as there is no money in the capital budget.

The community council will now write to Dumfries and Galloway Council asking for an action timescale.