East Devon’s MP has stepped into fast-track the clearing of drains in Ottery town centre in a bid to reduce the risk of further flooding this winter.

Following a meeting with mayor, Glyn Dobson, Hugo Swire spoke with highways officials at Devon County Council (DCC) to request that the blocked drains and gullies be cleaned as soon as possible.

Mr Swire said:  “Although I am happy to help with this problem, I would have thought that Ottery’s county councillor would have sorted this by now.

“Unfortunately, I felt compelled to intervene as no such progress has been made.

“The blocked drains that Cllr Dobson showed me are so obviously causing a number of problems for residents.”

A DCC spokesman said this week that highways officers had cleared 12 gullies and drains in Silver Street and Broad Street.

Claire Wright, Ottery’s county councillor, said:  “Thanks very much to Mr Swire for his efforts on helping to get the drains unblocked.”

She added that she trusted residents could expect their MP to become active on issues including keeping the hospital beds open, retaining services like the youth centre and library and opposing damagingly high levels of development in and around the town.

“Mr Swire has been rather quiet on these issues so far.” said Cllr Wright.