RESIDENTS whose homes were flooded during Storm Ciara have decided to take matters into their own hands to safeguard their neighbourhood.

People living in Riverside Drive, Prestolee, have been calling for flood defences to protect their properties since the Boxing Day floods in 2015, when 39 properties were affected.

Twenty-two residents experienced a repeat of the devastation when the River Irwell burst its banks on February 9.

Now the community has rallied round to try and raise an initial £10,000 so that it can look to build its own temporary defences.

Karen Smith, who chairs the flood flood committee of Riverside Drive, said: “The committee has been campaigning for flood defences since the first flood in 2015.

“We need £4 million signing off by the government, to build a wall to protect the houses on Riverside Drive. The Environment Agency have the plans ready, we just need the money.

“Some of our residents are once again out of their homes, and are faced with a long process of drying out, replastering, re-furnishing, etc. This is so depressing, especially when they have all been through this four years ago.

“In the meantime the flood committee of Riverside Drive and residents have decided to take matters into their own hands, and build temporary flood defences in order to protect our homes.

“We have calculated what we need to buy and hire. With the help of many volunteers, we want to at least give this a go. Happy to share fine details with anyone, please ask.

“Please donate to our cause if you can, and help us to feel safe and protected in our own homes.”

The temporary defences are due to be modelled on a clay and brick embankment built by farmers to protect homes in Churchtown, Lancashire.

Bolton Council reported that 22 properties were flooded in Stoneclough and 13 people attended the rest centre on February 9.

The Environment Agency previously said: “We will continue to work with partners and communities in gathering information about the flooding and to help with recovery.

“We have been working closely with the community group in Stoneclough since 2015 to examine how the community can be protected against flooding. We are exploring funding and will continue to engage with the community about progress.”

So far £579 has been raised towards the project. To donate visit