3:40pm Sunday 19th January 2014
A Hampshire village was swamped with sewage and flood water after more torrential rain.
A major clear up operation is today underway in Hambledon after the local pumping station failed and sewage spewed out manholes.
Up to 100 villagers battled the elements on Saturday night to protect their homes with sand bags.
County council staff and community safety officers also helped this morning as the clean up began.
Council leader Roy Perry visited the scene today and promised action.
He met with Hambledon Parish Council “flood supremo” Tony Higham, MP George Hollingbery and local County Councillor Roger Huxstep.
Cllr Perry was taken on a tour of the village from the downland on the outskirts through the village High Street.
He then went down to the Southern Water sewage pumping station where Southern Water tankers were battling to remove effluent.
Cllr Perry said: “I am full of praise for the work done by ACSOs and our Highways and Emergency teams but above all for the public spirit in the village.
“Apart from the Parish Councillors doing a great job organising effort there were farmers lending their tractors to help move the sandbags, ladies going to the village hall with relays of sandwiches and cakes and tea to keep the workers going.
“Some people had worked all through the night. Even or should I say naturally the Vicar was also there doing his bit and another group of Christian volunteers arrived whilst I was there to see what they could do. I saw it as an English Village in adversity but also an English village at its best.
“I promised George Hollingbery MP I would try to cut through the red tape and bureaucracy that seemed to be holding up the obvious drainage improvements that are manifestly needed. I gather so far the scale of the problem in Hambledon has not put it at the top of the Environment Agencies list for urgent attention. Last week I was told how the sewage pumping station had failed in Romsey and this week it seemed they had the same problem in Hambledon.
“Well, I want to know why Hambledon is not at the top of the list and what Hampshire County Council can do to give it the priority it needs.”
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