A Bucks-based councillor has criticised both the Environment Agency and Anglian Water after heavy flooding impacted several parts of north Buckinghamshire.

Buckingham councillor Warren Whyte believes the EA were 'late' in issuing their warning to residents, whilst he was 'disappointed' with Anglian Water due to the 'lack of support for residents who were directly affected'.

Between the afternoon of December 23 to the morning of December 24, firefighters were called out to several parts north of the county, where they helped people out of trapped cars, offered advice to those who had been affected as well as helping remove water from houses that were flooded following the downpour of heavy rain.

READ MORE: North Bucks underwater as heavy rain causes numerous flooding problems for residents

Cllr Whyte said: “The floods that hit Buckingham and North Bucks on December 23 and 24 caused a lot of disruption at the worst possible time as people were preparing for Christmas.

“While I was out helping, I was encouraged to see the very best of our community spirit with many people supporting those that were affected overnight and into the next day, and even continuing on Boxing Day as people were starting to deal with their insurance companies and see the damage left by the receding water.

Bucks Free Press:

Stony Stratford High Street (Picture from @MKCouncil on Twitter)

“I am, however, very angry at how late the official warning of flooding was issued by the Environment Agency - many hours after homes and basements were already underwater, and for some who were not home, too late to install their defences or move furniture and valuables out of danger.

“I am also very disappointed at the lack of support from Anglian Water for residents who were directly affected by overwhelmed sewerage systems in parts of the town.

“I have already requested that Buckinghamshire Council to undertake a review of the incident and to find out the full extent of the flood in the River Great Ouse catchment, the impact on residents and business, and find out what went wrong with the EA's flood warning system as it failed us.”

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Some of the worst impacted areas from the flooding were in Buckingham, Milton Keynes, Marsh Gibbon, Lavendon, Tingewick, Leckhampstead and Stony Stratford.

Following the criticism, both the Environment Agency and Anglian Water have responded to Cllr Whyte’s anger.

The Environment Agency said: “Our thoughts are with those affected by the recent floods.

“Environment Agency teams have been working 24/7 alongside the emergency services and local partners to check and operate defences and support those who have been flooded, reduce the risk of further flooding, keep people informed and keep communities safe through the holiday period.

“The rainfall that fell on an already saturated Great Ouse catchment on December 23 meant that the tributaries and upper parts of the catchment, including Buckingham, responded very quickly.

“River levels rose rapidly alongside places experiencing surface water issues.

Bucks Free Press:

Cllr Warren Whyte

"We are still actively managing the flooding in the lower parts of the catchment.

“Our focus will soon turn to the recovery from this significant event, which exceeded what was experienced in the last major flooding incident for this area in 1998.

“We are keen to work with the community and Buckinghamshire Council as part of the recovery to better understand the nature of the flooding during this event and use this information to refine the flood warning service and the community’s flood response arrangements.

“In the meantime, we encourage anyone who has been flooded to report it to the Environment Agency incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.”

An Anglian Water spokesperson added: “The recent flooding that we have seen has been very extreme and in a very short period of time and this can overwhelm the drainage systems which are not intended to carry floodwater which is why flooding can happen as the drains can’t cope with the sheer volume of water.

READ MORE: Country road remains shut due to 'high water levels' following floods in North Bucks

“We have seen unprecedented numbers of calls into our call centre from towns and villages across the region over the last week, and our teams have been working around the clock to reach as many of those areas affected as possible, however, it is taking longer than usual to get to all locations.

"The drainage systems are managed by a number of organisations from the council, private drainage and ourselves and we work very closely with all parties involved when it comes to flooding.

“We know how devastating flooding can be, so our top priority is to work with our drainage partners – the Environment Agency and the local councils - to help people whose homes have been flooded.”