Horrified staff at a flood-prone primary school were forced to remove dead rat from its car park.

The washed up rodent was the latest in a series of flooding problems to hit Aughton Town Green Primary School despite repeated promises to address the problem.

Staff found the rat on the car park after another spell of heavy run caused flooding problems at the school in Aughton, West Lancashire.

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The school grounds have consistently struggled in heavy rain, with floods inside the building causing it to close to pupils on multiple occasions, including in February and last August.

It has spent £10,000 trying to deal with the problem itself but is reliant on Lancashire County Council addressing the issue in the surrounding area.

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has repeatedly demanded that the problem be addressed and says a recent promise to make improvements and carry out unblocking work on drains near and under the school has not yet been actioned.

The issue is believed to be a culvert that runs under the school grounds, at times of increased rainfall, rainwater will breach the pipes and flow into the lower lying school.

Despite the school’s Head Teacher and the Labour MP making pleas to the authority to find a permanent solution, with Ms Cooper even raising this with Boris Johnson at Prime Minister’s Questions in February, they are still waiting for substantial progress to be made.

The county council told LancsLive that some improvements have been made but that there is no single solution. Some work is ongoing at the school and expected to last around two weeks but could last longer if further problems are identified.

Ms Cooper said: “I am honestly astounded by the council’s laissez faire attitude to a primary school repeatedly flooding. Not only is this causing great disruption to the education of pupils, but now putting health and safety at risk with flood water washing up dead rats onto the school grounds.

“When I raised this issue with the council last year, they reluctantly proposed a range of works that would improve the flow of water. Outrageously, the only action they took initially was to instruct private homeowners downstream to clear their section of the culvert.

“As evidenced by the most recent flooding, this has not worked. The council promised to undertake pipe improvement work over the summer, but we are now told that the contractor ‘did not get to it’.

“The lack of urgency with which the council are handling this is potentially dangerous and insulting to the pupils, parents and staff at the school, who simply want to continue their education without the threat of flooded classrooms any time it rains."

Nick Huxley, head teacher at the school, said work had begun last week by Lancashire County Council outside the school – and that he hoped it would solve the problem once and for all.

Highlighting how allowing the situation to continue was ‘simply not fair’ to children and the school community, he said: “Like Rosie, I have been very disappointed and upset with the response to our school’s flooding issues. I first raised my concerns with Lancashire County Council officially back in 2018 and have been in constant communication with different officials in Lancashire ever since.

“To allow this flooding to continue is simply not fair to our children and community! Last week, work arranged by Lancashire County Council began outside school. I just hope that they do enough to solve the problem once and for all.”

Rachel Crompton, principal flood risk officer for Lancashire County Council, said: "The repeated and widespread flooding around Town Green is a long-running problem which has affected many people and properties over the years. Various investigations have been carried out into the flooding, by both West Lancashire Borough Council and the county council.

"Although we've never been able to find a single solution to all the surface water flooding, we have made various small improvements in the past, and are currently carrying out work within the grounds of Town Green Primary School to ensure the existing drainage system is working as efficiently as it should, and identify whether there are any problems with the pipes which might need further maintenance.

"It is often the case that old streams and watercourses run on private property, and it is the responsibility of these landowners to keep their stretches clear and free-flowing so that they don't cause flooding problems, however they are not always aware of these responsibilities and it is part of our normal business to have to ask residents to carry out essential maintenance.

"Our next step will be to investigate the need for any further measures to alleviate flooding around the village, however we first need to ensure as far as possible that all existing local drainage systems are functioning as well as possible in order to provide the robust evidence which would be needed to make the case for this investment."

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