Councillors have secretly ditched plans to help a deluge-hit Angus village build a flood relief scheme.
Proposals to install a pipe in Edzell to combat serious flash flooding there have been rejected by members of Angus Council’s communities committee after a private discussion at a meeting in Forfar.
Brechin councillor Bob Myles slammed the decision and said the outcome “ignored the plight” of the flood-hit villagers.
Homes in Edzell were left ruined after flash floods on December 23 2012 caused an estimated £1 million worth of damage to more than 40 properties.
The scheme would have seen work put in place to install a relief pipe at the epicentre of flooding to stop the overflow of water during heavy rain but the councillors threw out all proposals.
Mr Myles tried to force the secret plans to be discussed in the presence of the public and press but was voted down 11 to three.
Members of the Edzell Flood Group spoke to the committee and delivered a presentation, which outlined the costs and damage caused to homes during previous incidents of flooding in the area.
The group, represented by members Peter George and Fiona Work, told councillors that £656,250 worth of damage was done to 14 properties and 13 homes were evacuated, with another 30 people decanted for three to 10 months, during the bad weather of Christmas 2012.
Mr George said only one third of affected homes had volunteered the cost of the damage sustained and estimated that the total costs were expected to be in the region of £1 milllion.
After the presentation was finished, committee convenor Donald Morrison moved the meeting on but a member of the flood group in the public gallery spoke out before being asked to leave.
He told the members: “I live in one of these properties and I woke up on December 23 in 2012 surrounded by floating Christmas trees. I used to take my hat off to you but I can’t believe how you sit there and sigh and some of you don’t even look at the slides.
“All I ask is for you to come around and speak to the people that have been flooded and speak to the children who lost Christmas. You can control this and you can stop it.”
The man was escorted from the room and the meeting continued.
Committee members debated the issue behind closed doors for around half an hour but Angus Council has refused to reveal any information regarding the discussions, including the committee’s final decision.
The matter has now been referred to the full council, although it has not been confirmed if it will be resolved in private or in public.
After the meeting, Councillor Myles said the committee rejected the plans, but said he still held out hope for a positive outcome at full council level.
He said: “The Dunlappie Road culvert isn’t big enough to take the huge capacity of water that is coming down now. The capacity of that is 0.75 cubic metres per second and the new flood pipe proposed would take 2.46m3/s.
“To my mind that’s belt and braces and it would solve any problem Edzell ever had with flooding from the Wishop Burn. People say you can’t give guarantees I would give that guarantee that it would solve all the problems.”
He added: “It’s up to the council how they fund this but an offer of partnership working from a private developer should be explored further and we shouldn’t be burying our heads in the sand and ignoring the plight of the villagers of Edzell, just because we can’t agree what funding and full cost is.
“We were hoping to get some sort of commitment to at least progress with this but it seems some of the committee didn’t seem to appreciate that and they tried to put a caveat in that ‘at this time’ it will not progress.
“Well, I’m sorry but ‘at this time’ could be in the never never and I wanted at least some sort of commitment from the council that they would at least address the severe flood problems of the villagers of Edzell, an area that has endured the worst flood in living memory in this area.”
The Edzell Flood Group declined to comment.