Measures will be put in place to help prevent destruction on the scale of the Christmas Eve floods, says Bradford on Avon mayor John Potter.

Despite several businesses working over the festive period to reopen, many will take weeks to get back on track and count the cost of the damage.

Business owners and residents have been watching the water levels rise and fall during the past two weeks and there have been numerous flood warnings.

Cllr Potter said: “We are on the case. We will get as far and fast as we can.

“I am trying to get a meeting with Wiltshire Council and the Area Board to begin the process and get the Environment Agency involved.

"We have had a flood protection firm have a look at the town.

“These findings and examples of flood defences will be discussed at the town council meeting at the end of the month.”

The Fat Fowl in Silver Street was under two feet of water on Christmas Eve and has remained closed while the restaurant dries out and the insurers come in.

Owner Mark Kendall said: “We need some form of flood defence in the restaurant. We will negotiate with the landlord and insurance company as we wouldn’t want to reopen without a flood defence.

“It has made people far more aware. The river has been over the Bull Pit four or five times in two weeks.

“Whoever is responsible for it needs to address the issue.

"We live in a historic, beautiful town but we are on a river and this is not a one off problem. It will become more frequent.”

Mark Dawson lives in Bath Road, which has been closed several times, and floodwater has destroyed materials in his garage used for his job as a carpenter.

He said: “Every time it has rained heavily, one of us has had to go out with a brush to clear the drains. We are constantly looking out the window and checking.

“The sand bags are still up. There is nothing more we can do.

“The council needs to clear the drains and ditches. A neighbour has offered to be a flood warden, to put flood signs out and to be in charge of making sure drains and ditches are clear.”