An urgent call has gone out to fund flood defences for an area where people have been "living in fear" for nearly seven years.

Ever since devastating floods hit the area on Boxing Day 2015, residents on Riverside Drive, Prestolee have been calling for permanent defences, with work that was meant to start last year still delayed.

As such, Bolton South East MP Yasmin Qureshi addressed Parliament last week asking how this has been allowed to happen.

She said: “Riverside Drive in my constituency has been subjected to repeated flooding since 2015, the residents live in genuine fear of flooding.

“I have raised this many times on the floor of this house, in the media and frankly anyone who will listen to me.

“The works were due to start last year, yet the environment agency have delayed it again.

“The total cost is only £5m, DEFREA will not stump up the money nor will the treasury.”

Ms Qureshi called on the government to release the funding.

The Bolton News:

The devastating floods hit on Boxing Day 2015

A total of 39 houses were flooded on Riverside Drive on Boxing Day 2015 with 22 seeing a repeat of the devastation when the River Irwell burst its banks on February 9 that same year.

Ms Qureshi said: “I feel and sound like a stuck record, but my residents deserve and need peace of mind.

“They are living in a state of abject fear that their livelihoods and homes will be flooded at a moment’s notice.

“I implore the Environment Agency and DEFRA to do whatever it takes to start this project. I won’t stop campaigning on it until they do.”

In response, House of Commons leader Mark Spencer said he sympathised with the residents and would pass on Ms Qureshi’s concerns.

He said: “I think having your home flooded is a terrible, terrible thing.

“Of course, the Environment Agency and DEFRA work together to prioritise schemes to make sure they get the best value for money for such schemes, but I was pass on her comments directly to the Secretary of State for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs so that he is aware of her concerns.”