Problem Puddles

Last weekend we woke up to assess the damage caused by Storm Arwen. I know we’re all grateful to the teams from the council who worked so hard to deal with the problems it created. Many residents also did what they could to help, showing real neighbourly spirit.

Fingers crossed we won’t be dealing with another storm like Arwen for quite a while, although I think we all know that these severe weather events are becoming more common due to climate change. What’s a growing concern to me now is simply the effect of the weather that we can predict at this time of year: Rain.

We had a lot of rain last night, which means we have a lot of something else this morning: Puddles. As you know, some of them get pretty big too, becoming what I’ve started calling “Problem Puddles”. It’s a whole new catergory of “P” that nobody warned me about when I first became a councillor (obviously I expected to be dealing with Parking, Poo and Potholes!).

Our little corner of North Shields has grown steadily over hundreds of years. Some bits of the ward are very old, such as Christ Church which dates back to the 17th Century. We also have new estates that are less than 30 years old. And everything in between. What this means is that parts of the infrastructure in the ward are modern, and parts date back to a different era, when the population demands were quite different.

All this to say, some parts of Preston ward struggle more than others when we get heavy rain. Gullies regularly get blocked (especially after the autumn leaf fall) and drains easily become overwhelmed. When this happens residents have a part to play by identifying these problems and flagging them to the council. There’s a simple online form you can use to report problem puddles – click here to access it. I would also advise that you take photos. You can’t upload these on the form but you can send them on once you get an email reply from the officer who takes up you case.

As always if you find that the council don’t get back to you or don’t take your issue seriously you can get in touch with me directly on

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