BLOCKED drains around Ilminster could be putting motorists' lives at risk, it has been claimed this week.

A number of clogged spots include drains on Townsend, Ditton Street and the bend close to the Gooch and Housego factory near Listers Hill.

Cllr Andrew Shearman described his attempts to get Somerset County Council's highways officers to clear the drains as “slow going”.

He added: “The water covers half of the road so people either have to drive on the wrong side of the road on a blind bend or drive through the water and I've seen two cars ruined because of driving through the deep water.

“The town council is powerless to take on highways issues. We have made them [Somerset County Council] aware of our concerns and safety issues.”

Cllr Shearman recommended members of the public to contact highways directly to show the strength of feeling towards this work being completed.

This is The West Country: ANDREW Shearman

Cllr Andrew Shearman

Ilminster's county council representative, Cllr Linda Vijeh, said highways officers had tried to arrange a meeting with the town council “for some time” but was told they never responded.

She added: “I have reported those problems I've been made aware of, and if there continues to be issues then I would hope that the town council would keep me informed.”

Somerset County Council say surface water next to the Gooch and Housego factory drains away into privately owned ponds.

A spokesman added: “Unfortunately, if the water levels of the pond are too high then water is unable to drain away and this can lead to flooding on the road. We will be speaking with the pond owner to remind them of the importance of opening their sluice gates to alleviate this in future.”

Anyone wishing to contact the highways team at Somerset County Council should call 0845 345 9155.