WE WANT answers now!

That was the message from angry Romsey residents who packed a public meeting yesterday (Sunday) having been subjected to repeated flooding over the Christmas and new year period.

Many saw their homes or cellars filled with sewage as the town’s Victorian drainage system failed to cope with recent weather.

Around 60 residents of Winchester Road met at the Plaza Theatre to draw up a list of urgent questions for Southern Water, Test Valley Borough Council, Hampshire County Council and the Environment Agency.

It comes as county council leader Roy Perry, whose division Romsey Extra cover the outskirts of the town, announced at the meeting he had commissioned an independent inquiry into the drainage problems.

Among the concerns raised was the future impact of more than 60 new homes in developments north and south of the road.

None of the agencies were invited to the meeting.

Mr Perry said he was taking advantage of recent legislation to order the inquiry, which would be one of the first of its kind in the country.

He said: “We will appoint qualified consultants to investigate and the results will be put in the public domain so all of the agencies will have to address the resulting issues.”

Mr Perry added the inquiry would start “as soon as possible” but could not put a timeframe on how long it would take.

Caroline Nokes, Romsey MP, was also present at the meeting and confirmed she was meeting Southern Water and the Environment Agency to discuss the problems on Friday.

Mrs Nokes, who raised the issue in Parliament last week, said: “I think it’s really key to get to the bottom of what caused all of the separate incidents in the town and whether they were related or not.”

The residents formed a sub-committee to draft letters to each agency with a list of concerns about the sewerage system, street cleaning, compensation and the impact of both new developments.