SPENDING cuts and blunders by officials made last winter’s floods worse, Hampshire council chiefs have told MPs.

In evidence to a parliamentary inquiry, the county council has highlighted key failings by public bodies that added to the misery for residents and businesses.

Most worryingly, the submission says district councils no longer have the cash to maintain watercourses, a failure which can result in flooded roads.

Instead, town halls are relying on the county council to take enforcement action against landowners, which is “difficult and expensive”.

The evidence reads: “Due to lack of funding, neither the county council, nor local district authorities, have the resources to take on responsibility for maintaining ordinary watercourses.”

Meanwhile, Hampshire County Council also urged the Government to clear up “confusion over which body is responsible for long-term maintenance”.

And it highlighted the example of Calmore Road in Totton, west of Southampton, where an underground pipe proved “ineffective”. It went on to say that following the evacuation of residents there was some confusion over where responsibility lay.