Flood team discovered Ottery problem- not Tesco

PUBLISHED: 10:46 23 March 2009 | UPDATED: 08:48 18 June 2010

TESCO took credit for Ottery flood prevention work- partly paid for with tax-payers money- which it didn t carry out, according to the Environment Agency.

TESCO 'took credit' for Ottery flood prevention work- partly paid for with tax-payers money- which it didn't carry out, according to the Environment Agency.

The supermarket giant claimed earlier this month that it had "acted quickly" and spent "thousands" clearing a slit-filled culvert, which runs under it's part of the town's vacant factory site, in a bid to alleviate its neighbours flooding woes.

However, the work was in fact carried out by the Environment Agency (EA) through contractors after the problem was identified in December last year, with Tesco only covering £2,000 of the £3,000 total cost, for which it has been invoiced.

An EA spokesman said Tesco "seemed to take a lot of credit" for the work and it "wasn't quick action".

The agency has paid for the disposal of the eight to 15 tonnes of material removed from the culvert.

Ottery councillor Roger Giles said a multi-agency flood prevention team identified the blocked culvert, which contributed to flooding Victoria Terrace homes twice in six weeks last year, in December and duly notified the land-owner.

He felt it was a "shame" it had taken until March to resolve the problem and said: "Thank god there was no flooding event in that time- Victoria Terrace homes could have been flooded when they didn't need to be."

A Tesco spokeswoman said the EA had been responsible for identifying potential problems in the first place but the firm has been very keen to work with them and the problem was dealt with as soon as it could have been.

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