1. ITV Report

Frustration at council's response to Newton Stewart flooding

Locals say it was the worst flooding for more than 50 years. Credit: Stephen Jolly
Homes and businesses were ruined. Credit: Stephen Jolly

On 30 December people in Newton Stewart woke up to the worst flooding the town had seen for more than 50 years.

Unprecedented levels of rain caused the River Cree to break through the town's defence wall, causing water to pour into the main street.

Homes and businesses were seriously damaged, and though many of them have reopened, the cost has been huge.

The owner of a hairdressing salon told ITV Border she is concerned about it happening again, and has been frustrated by the council's response.

Our biggest concern is if it happens again because they haven't fixed the wall.

I think if the wall had held we'd have been like other years - nothing would have happened to us because normally it stays just on the road a little bit.

There's hardly any water in the river, the council could be doing the work just now. Why are they not in the river lifting the boulders out of it and fixing the wall while the weather is nice?

– Leone Allison, Snips Hair Studio
Locals are frustrated by the lack of progress in fixing the wall and clearing the river. Credit: ITV Border

ITV Border contacted Dumfries and Galloway Council about the flood defence repairs in Newton Stewart, but they have not provided a response.

The council is holding a meeting next week to progress a flood protection plan for the region, which includes a specific scheme for Newton Stewart.

But for some, any progress will be too little, too late.

Locals say it was the worst flooding for more than 50 years. Credit: Stephen Jolly

Hannah Burns was evacuated from her riverside flat in December, and has now moved to the countryside, in fear of it happening again.

It's had a huge impact on me because I'd had enough.

After the initial flood there were flood warnings out again and we got asked to leave again not long after that, and I now live out in the country so I feel safer.

– Hannah Burns

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