THEY were out of action during the summer – and now, in a week when the Basingstoke area was affected by St Jude’s Storm, the Eastrop fountains were switched on which led to water, water everywhere.

As previously reported in The Gazette, the popular water feature, between Eastrop Park and Festival Place, broke in March when they were turned off and a mains pipe burst, flooding the underground plant room.

The problem took months to fix, resulting in the council-run fountains being switched off for most of the school summer holiday.

Now, the fountains feature has become a talking point again after the pavement was covered in water when they were switched on during last week’s bad weather.

Andy Brown, 33, from Cranbourne, Basingstoke, who walks past the fountains on his way to work at Unum, in Basing View, said: “It’s a disgrace. The fountains were off all summer and the council spent all that time fixing them, just in time for the bad weather.

“The pavements were covered in water. If all that water had frozen over, then it would have been incredibly dangerous.

“Why is the council switching the fountains on in the autumn?

“All the drains had clogged up with leaves and were blocked, so the water had nowhere to go.”

During the summer, the fountains cost £65,000 to fix, which was claimed through insurance.

The feature has been the subject of controversy in the past, when last year the council decided to turn the fountains off as a water-saving measure in response to a planned hosepipe ban.

A borough council spokesman said the fountains were only turned on over the half-term holiday week, and added the council had not been made aware of any flooding issues.