Agenda item

Drainage in the South Holland Area

The meeting will be attended by the following representatives:

 

Regional Flood and Coastal Committee

 

Regional Flood and Coastal Committees (RFCCs) help to provide governance for the Environment Agency Flood and Coastal Erosion risk management functions and cover all flood risks that are not the responsibility of the water companies. They have replaced the Regional Flood Defence Committees which previously existed. There are currently 12 Committees across England.

 

RFCCs have three main purposes:

 

•to ensure there are coherent plans for identifying, communicating and managing flood and coastal erosion risks across catchments and shorelines

 

•to promote efficient, targeted and risk-based investment in flood and coastal erosion risk management that optimises value for money and benefits for local communities

 

•to provide a link between the Environment Agency, LLFAs, other risk management authorities, and other relevant bodies to develop mutual understanding of flood and coastal erosion risks in its area

 

Eddie Poll was appointed Chair of the Anglia (Northern) Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (RFCC) on 1 July 2015.  This role was confirmed by DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and runs until 30 June 2018. Mr Poll will be in attendance at the meeting.

 

Welland and Deepings Internal Drainage Board

 

The Welland and Deepings Internal Drainage Board is an autonomous public body under the direct control of the Board members.  The Board has 12 elected members and 13 members appointed by local authorities within its area of Boston Borough Council, Peterborough City Council, South Holland District Council and South Kesteven District Council. 

 

The Board’s area covers approximately 32,400 hectares from Sutterton (near Boston) in the north to Werrington (near Peterborough) in the south. The Board maintains some 660km of surface water drains and sewers and has 14 pumping stations and 3 tidal sluices.  The Board also manages over 70 water level management structures.

 

Karen Daft, Chief Executive and Nick Morris, Operations Director will be in attendance at the meeting.



 

Minutes:

With the permission of the Chairman, this item was brought forward on the agenda.

 

The Chairman welcomed  the representatives and introduced the Panel to them and its purpose.

 

An overview of the Welland and Deepings Internal Drainage Board (IDB) and its function was given by Karen Daft, Chief Executive and Nick Morris, Operations Director.

 

Welland and Deepings Internal Drainage Board

 

The Welland and Deepings Internal Drainage Board was an autonomous public body under the direct control of the Board members. The Board had 12 elected members and 13 appointed members. 

 

The Board’s area covered approximately 34000 hectares from Frampton/Kirton in the north to Werrington (near Peterborough) in the south. They had 25 staff who helped to maintain 390 miles of open watercourse which included 14 pumping stations and 3 tidal sluices. 

 

An overview of the RFCC was given by its Chairman, Eddy Poll.

 

Regional Flood and Coastal Committee

 

Regional Flood and Coastal Committees (RFCCs) helped to provide governance for the Environment Agency Flood and Coastal Erosion risk management functions and covered all flood risks that were not the responsibility of the water companies.

 

The RFCC had a £380million programme over six years funded by the Environment Agency (EA)/Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The readiness of the Committee to react to adverse weather conditions depended on accurate weather forecasting, which nowadays was better than it had ever been.

 

The Panel considered the following points:

 

·         A survey on secondary lines of defence (known as relic lines of defence)  had been carried out with the willingness of the farmers and they were seen to be in a good condition.

·         The IDB was responsible for dyke piping and filling regardless of whether they owned the land, and once notified about a request, consent would be issued. Dykes were filled on behalf of the County Council too, which included Bourne and Grantham.

·         The co-operation between all local IDBs was good.

·         The proportion of electrical pumps to mechanical ones, in case of electricity failure during adverse weather, was one diesel pumping station (the main one) and the rest were electrical. If the electricity supply  was unavailable, the contingency was to attach a tractor via a PTO shaft  to keep one pump going until generators kicked in. Emergency procedures were set up for adverse conditions. Welland and Deepings IDB had a 12inch emergency pump and were looking to get a smaller one too.

·         Welland and Deepings IDB had a rolling programme to dredge rivers, usually done every 5 to 6 years dependent on whether it was a heavy silt area or not. The River Welland was under the responsibility of the Environment Agency. Forty Foot drain was undergoing a ‘hoovering’ project to pick up the heavy silt. This would hopefully be introduced to more areas.

·         The biggest risks to the IDB were funding and complacency. If complacency was reversed, then there would be more issues on funding.

·         Insurance costs for householders were higher due to flood risk – the EA had very accurate maps and these could be used when getting an insurance quote, but couldn’t be used if doing an online quote.

 

The representatives were thanked for their overview and left the meeting at 7.10pm, along with Councillor Newton.