An investigation into flooding in Swindon aims to identify the causes of frequent inundations and also the best way to prevent them in the future.

But councillor Chris Watts, the cabinet member in charge, says the first issue is to determine where differing responsibilities lie - with the borough council, with Thames Water or with the Environment Agency.

The council is expected to complete the report, known as a Section 19 report, in 2025 – but Cllr Watts was asked at the council's overview and scrutiny committee what residents might expect from the work before the report is completed and published.

The leader of the Conservative group councillor Gary Sumner asked: “Residents are still very concerned. While the report is being prepared are we, as a council, doing anything to prevent flooding.

“Many people are still very conceded every time there’s heavy rain, and I don’t think they should have to sit there and worry for the 15 to 18 months it might take to complete the report.”

That was echoed by Labour councillor Sean Wilson who said: “Will you give residents that where the council has responsibility that the work will be done?

“In Grange Park, every time there’s heavy rain, we get pictures from one resident showing how close the water is getting to their back gate. Is there hope that some action will be taken?”

Councillor Watts said the council was already addressing drainage issues in Wroughton and added: “I believe we are going to be doing something in Grange Park.”

He said the first part of the report investigation would be to work out the varying responsibilities of differing, and cooperating, organisations: “As the Local Flood Authority we haven’t really been performing since 2018 and Covid also had a big effect.

“We’re starting now with a blank piece of paper and we need to see what’s ours, we need to see what is Thames Water’s and need to see where the Environment Agency has a responsibility.

“That’s the first step to making sure that we resolve the issues.

Thames Water declines to respond to a request for comment on the work Section 19 and report.

The company says it has responsibility for sewer flooding, where sewage overspills from manholes outside or in the worst case through toilets and sinks inside homes.

River flooding is generally the responsibility of the Environment Agency.

Local councils are the lead Local flood authority, and generally have responsibility for making sure gutters and road gullies are kept clear.

An example of possible confusion of responsibilities is the often-flooded underpass that allows pedestrians to cross Drakes Way from Marlowe Avenue.

Last year when the brightly painted subway was flooded Swindon Borough Council said it was the responsibility of Thames Water.

As the subway has flooded again recently the water company has told the Swindon Advertiser that it is the responsibility of the borough council.