BOROUGH regeneration boss Dave Harling has promised Darwen councillors Paul Browne and Karimeh Foster that flood prevention work in the town is a priority.

He made the pledge after being tackled on the issue at the full Council Forum in Blackburn Town Hall.

Sudell ward’s Coun Browne was angry at the lack of work to clear gullies between Percival Street and Lloyd Street which had led to further overflows at the bottom of Darwen after recent torrential rain.

His Whitehall Liberal Democrat colleague Coun Foster wanted a timetable to get flood protection works to protect Bowling Green Close near the WEC factory in place before the next dangerous deluge.

She told Coun Harling she was delighted the Environment Agency had decided to pay for the majority of the works.

Coun Foster also congratulated WEC for agreeing to pay for the remainder to avoid local residents footing the bill.

She told Coun Harling: “We need to know how and when these works will be done. They need to be done urgently to try and avoid further flooding in the area.”

Coun Browne said: “After the dreadful flooding this summer, the council promised to clear out the gullies in the area between Percival Street and Lloyd Street. They have not done it properly. The last time we had torrential rain it was flooding back over the road.

“These gullies need to be fully cleared out and kept clear. Coun Harling promised to get the work done and email me when each street was tackled. I am still waiting for the emails.”

Coun Foster said: “We need all this flood protection work in Darwen doing soon and doing properly. We do not want a repeat of this summer’s devastating flooding in the town. I am delighted that WEC is paying for some of the work at Bowling Green Close as a good neighbour.” Coun Harling said all gullies between Lloyd Street and Percival Street had been cleaned twice since June 2012.

He said: “We have recently been revisiting all gullies within flood affected areas to minimise the impact of future floods.

“The gullies in question between Lloyd Street and Percival Street have been identified for this programme. Flood protection in Darwen is a priority and we are doing all we can.”.