RAMSEY residents living next to Slade Dyke are hoping for a merrier Christmas after the rubbish-filled ditch overflowed on Christmas Eve last year and caused flooding to around 20 homes in Field Road and Slade Close.
A group of volunteers led by district councillor and town mayor, Steve Corney, have given up their time to clear the debris which continues to accumulate along the length of this half-mile ditch, to avoid similar problems. Fly-tipped rubbish including tyres, discarded charity leaflets, placards and household rubbish is washed along the dyke, blocking the entrance grille to a culvert and preventing water from running freely. Among the volunteers were members of Ramsey Flood Group and deputy mayor Roger Brereton.
Steve told us: "Ownership of the dyke is still uncertain and after discussion with the town, district and county councils we decided to take control and clear it ourselves. The task is not quite completed and we are grateful to everyone who has come out to help - and especially the neighbours who provide us with a welcome cup of coffee on a cold day!"
"It has been a real community effort... the district council loaned us a chipper to dispose of branches from wild elder and overhanging trees and the town council offered a grant in case we needed to buy any specialist equipment," added Roger. "So far we have managed with our own resources and it is deeply disappointing that even since we started to clean-up more rubbish has appeared - even a suitcase!"