Council apologises for flood response failings

Bell's Sports Centre
The Bell's Sports Centre was one of the buildings affected by flooding

A council has apologised for a delay in closing floodgates during extreme weather last month.

Perth and Kinross Council chief executive Thomas Glen also said lessons had to be learned from its response.

He was speaking following publication of an initial report into the impact of the severe conditions, which will be considered by councillors next week.

Residents in North Inch previously condemned the hold up after homes and businesses were flooded.

The Bell's Sports Centre as well as basement flats and businesses on Rose Terrace and Charlotte Street were among those affected by the torrential downpours.

Members of the council's scrutiny and performance committee will next week examine an initial report into the impact of the heavy rainfall.

It features feedback from residents, including from a recent meeting held with people living along the River Tay in Perth.

Bell's Sports Centre
The Bell's Sports Centre was one of the buildings affected by flooding

Council chief executive Thomas Glen said on Friday that his thoughts were with all those residents who had experienced flooding.

He added: "From feedback, we heard lots of positive examples from residents who have told us that the approach in their area worked.

"However, we also know that there were instances where we have not met the standards of support that residents, and we expect, during the response and recovery phase.

"I apologise where that has been the experience and commit to improvement though the review process."

Mr Glen acknowledged the timing of closing flood gates at the North Inch had "understandably been a source of significant public conversation".

He said: "The review does not shy away from dealing with that. Investigations into the range of contributory factors are still ongoing. We continue to review the data and are undertaking ongoing work to assess all impacts."

Residents had to clear out damaged flooring and furniture from their homes

As a result of the report a full review of the Perth Flood Scheme Gate Closure Operational Procedure will be carried out in partnership with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa).

Although the report focuses on the weekend of 6-8 October, it also considers what happened during Storm Babet and in the build-up to more recent weather warnings.

Perthshire North MSP John Swinney previously called on the council to address the concerns of residents and "provide a full explanation of the situation".

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser criticised the local authority's "poor handling" of the flood management system.

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