AN action group has been launched to identify 'at risk' properties after an estate was hit by floods for the sixth time this year.

Residents on the Higher Folds estate in Leigh were affected by floods again after downpours on Thursday, September 30.

Properties sustained damage and residents say they feel like nothing has been done to help them.

One saidl: "How are residents supposed to live like this? The lack of action by the council is despicable.

"In January this year, we’ve lost everything, and absolutely no action has been taken to prevent this happening again. Is this really OK? This is sewage water, by the way. It’s not seen as an emergency."

The council says the flooding is due to a capacity issue on the United Utilities network, which outfalls on to Penleach Brook and that the cause has been identified.

Leigh MP James Grundy, who has met with some of the affected residents, said: "This is the sixth time this year some residents have been affected by this issue, and I have previously raised the matter with both Wigan Council and the Environment Agency.

"Key issues raised with me included the increasing frequency of flooding in their area, the risk of damage to homes and insurance issues it causes, and the need for both more suitable temporary short-term measures to help tackle the flooding and the need for an adequate long-term solution to the problem."

Paul Barton, environment director at Wigan Council said: “Once we became aware of (the issue) our officers responded very quickly, deploying sandbags.

“Thankfully, it did not take long for normal water levels to be restored. This area flooded during Storm Christoph as did many others, which has highlighted areas we need to focus our attention in terms of reducing the risk of flooding."

Mr Barton said the authority was working with United Utilities, the Environment Agency and councillors, with a community flood action group set to be established to identify at-risk properties.

“We are here to support our residents as best we can, however, as with any natural event it is hard to predict but we do our utmost to prepare. We’re working with local councillors as well as the Environment Agency and United Utilities to develop a Community Flood Action Group to identify the most at risk properties and set out what actions we and the community can take during the event of a flood.

“The group is in the early stages but once a group of volunteers has been identified, we can take this work forward. Local residents in these high risk areas are welcome to be part of the conversation.”

The council says the flooding is due to a capacity issue on the UU network, which outfalls onto Penleach Brook. UU has identified the cause of the problem and is working with the council to discuss options for future works to reduce the risk of surface water flooding.

However, this is mitigation, not complete removal of the flood risk and, with natural incidents, there is never a guarantee, therefore, the council adds that all residents are to consider additional personal flood protection measures they can take to protect their property.