Councils must do more on flooding

Dear Sir, — The news of the flooding in some areas of the UK is not surprising considering that for several years now many local authorities do not seem to have maintained road gullies properly or cleaned out culverts blocked with branches and all kinds of rubbish. 
You would think that a well-run authority would have an autumn/winter preparation period to enable such jobs to be done.
Add to this appalling situation the fact that hedging and ditching is a thing of the past and in some areas many houses have been built on floodplains, and you have the perfect recipe for the kind of the disasters that have occurred.
Councils need to take on board the fact that they cost all the known work to be done in a financial year and a serious matter such as maintenance of the gullies, etc, should be part and parcel of their plans. 
Why should local people have to be continually in contact with councillors, the local authority and the Chronicle with complaints about the work not having been done? Residents should without question expect to receive value for money in respect of the council tax they have to pay.
There are one or two councillors who always try to do their best for Biddulph and the surrounding areas and they continue to press the officials employed by the local authority. But they need to be backed up by their colleagues on the council, otherwise nothing will get done and we will be in exactly the same situation next time we have sustained periods of wet weather.
It’s not rocket science: the responsible authorities need to accept that they have an important role to play so far as the safety and best interests of local people are concerned. It is about time that they took grasp of the situation without having to be constantly reminded. — Yours faithfully,