A PLEA by repeatedly flooded householders for a £5million defence scheme has been taken direct to Westminster.

Bolton South-East MP Yasmin Qureshi presented a 2,876 signature petition to Parliament from residents of Riverside Drive and Weaver Chase in Prestolee and Stoneclough.

Earlier she tackled environment minister Rebecca Pow in the House of Commons on the government's delay in providing the cash needed to build flood defences recommended by the Environment Agency.

She told her in a special debate:"On Boxing day 2015, Riverside Drive and Weaver Chase suffered severe flooding from the rising waters of the River Irwell. Some 57 properties were affected and residents were forced to flee their ​homes.

"The EA has worked very hard to come up with a proposal for the flood defences. It is now four years since those major floods and the proposed defences have still not been installed. Residents believe the government is prioritising schemes with larger numbers of properties, so Prestolee keeps getting pushed back.

On Sunday February 9, Riverside Drive was flooded again, this time affecting 22 properties. Right now the residents’ wrecked belongings are piled up in their gardens.Many residents feel trapped; they are unable to remortgage or sell their homes.

"The damage caused to the river bank is such that if the river levels rise again, the estate will be flooded again.

"Both the residents and the EA are keen to get construction of the flood defences under way as soon as possible, and there are no technical difficulties. However, until the funding is made available no work can be commenced. I really do not want to see the sadness and the devastation on my constituents’ faces again, so please can we have £5 million for our flood defences?"

Mrs Pow said: "Money is handed out with regard to the number of properties at risk and the number of people at risk."

Ms Qureshi said: "I was disappointed she would not make any commitment to flood defences in Prestolee.I will continue to push for this much-needed money.”