Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber - Town Hall, Maidenhead
Contact: wendy Binmore 01628 796 251
Apologies for absence
To Receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Councillor John Lenton, Alan Keene and Harry clasper.
To confirm the minutes from the previous meeting.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 12 July 2016 be approved subject to the following amendment:
Future meeting days should read 17 January 2017.
Update from Environment Agency
· Update on policy on dredging
· Update on River Thames Scheme
· Update on Middle Thames Flood Alleviation Plan
· Update on Marlow Flood Alleviation Scheme
Update on policy on dredging
Members noted the EA’s policy on dredging had not changed and dredging did take place in selective locations to aid navigation. There was a discreet piece of work being carried out in particular areas such as locks, and there were projects beginning in October 2016 such as bathometric surveys being carried out on the river. The surveys that had already been carried out showed there had been some minor movements but, there had been no significant rise in levels of silt from when dredging had taken place. The Chairman stated he was happy to rely on the EA’s interpretations of where dredging was needed.
Update on River Thames Scheme
There had been a discussion around having separate conversations with someone working within the project. However, there had been no fundamental change to the scheme. Hydraulic Modelling was being delivered to the EA in its raw form which was being used by the project. The Chairman stated the River Thames Scheme was going to happen; the price had almost doubled but people were aware of that. He added he hoped it would start soon, although he had not received a date for a meeting with Scott Salmon from the EA. The Chairman was optimistic he would be able to get a date for the meeting confirmed after Christmas and he offered to keep the Group updated.
Update on Middle Thames Flood Alleviation Plan
The Middle Thames Scheme was a concept and was not yet a scheme which was driven by work being done on the lower and upper Thames Scheme. It was a difficult area which included isolated communities and the EA were now exploring catchments across the Thames and looking at controlling flows instead of dredging. The Chairman stated he wanted to make sure the focus was not taken off flooding in localised areas and that it was important to maintain maintenance schedules.
Update on Marlow Flood Alleviation Scheme
Advanced works were underway for temporary flood defences should they be needed over the winter. Construction for scheme to be officially started in spring 2017. The Chairman stated he saw good examples of temporary flood defences and the Flood Expo in London.
v Action: The EA to include Cookham Parish Council in correspondence re the Marlow Flood Alleviation Scheme.
Update from Thames Water
· Update on impacts of recent flood event and actions
Update on impacts of recent flood event and actions
Members noted that the situation had been relatively quiet with only one intense period of rain which was back in September 2016 where the area experienced two weeks of rainfall in one hour. Thames Water were very busy with some localised flooding but there was nothing of a too serious nature.
Thames Water were carrying out investigations at sites where localised flooding took place using a look and lift method and were looking to arrange another look and lift later in the year in December 2016 or in the New Year when ground levels were up. Thames Water requested any questions to be forwarded to them prior to the Flood Liaison Group meetings so that they could prepare answers and ensure they had all relevant information to hand.
With regards to sewer abuse and the bin it don’t block it campaign, data analytics had been carried out and hot spots had been mapped. The Slough and Maidenhead area was confirmed as a hot spot for sewer abuse and Thames Water had grouped areas together where households would receive a letter, fat trap or leaflet. Thames Water were targeting other cluster areas that had higher levels of sewer abuse and social media and advertising would be used to campaign against sewer abuse.
Thames Water confirmed that in the last three years, there had been 707 blockages caused by sewer abuse in the Slough and Maidenhead area which made it a hot spot. They were doing something about it and also working with Water UK and SNAP Group to feed their knowledge into campaigns. They were also targeting people that broke the law through education and prosecution for repeat offenders.
Thames Water were happy to contribute to parish council newsletters and would send a pdf of an A4 campaign poster that could be used on parish council notice boards.
v Action: Thames Water to email parish councils a pdf of their bin it don’t block it campaign poster in A4.
Update from RBWM
· Update on impacts of recent flood event and actions
Sue Fox, Senior Project Manager provided members of the Group with an update from the Borough which included the following main points:
Ø There had been a significant rainfall event in September 2016 which was focused on the Maidenhead area.
Ø Duty crews carried out emergency works into the morning, following the repairs, they cleaned up the area too.
Ø The Borough had compiled a list of 13-15 locations that needed investigating.
Ø A drainage engineer would visit all sites and gully’s would be cleared where necessary.
Ø The Borough would be sending questionnaires out to residents to get feedback on what happened before, during and after the significant rainfall event.
Ø The Borough would look into flash flooding in Windsor Great Park onto Tilehurst Place.
Ø Most of the land in the Thrift Wood Farm area was flood plain so it was expected to flood. The flood team had been in discussions with countryside officers so that flood water could be used to benefit the area instead of working against it.
Ø Emma Chiltern, Flood Risk Engineer had attended a workshop on the River Thames Scheme in September 2016 which was about the benefits of the scheme for residents.
Ø Options at the workshop were put forward
Ø Community engagement took place around Wraysbury to see what was appropriate with residents being asked to engage and comment.
Parish Flood Group Update
To receive the above update.
Fiona Hewer, Cookham Parish Council stated that parish councils were thinking of resilience of flood defence infrastructure, pump stations for example, to make them more resilient. Fiona stated she had looked at plans of pump stations and how they had been made resilient at the time of building. Curtis of the Customer Service Team at the Borough had been very helpful in trying to locate plans of pump stations and had found plans numbered C.470 and C.471. Fiona also found additional information that suggested that pump stations should have been raised on platforms but, could find nothing further on that. She hoped Thames Water might be able to track down the original plans for all pumping stations affected by flooding in 2014. They were built around 1990 and the Borough did not appear to have all the documentation regarding the planning for them. Thames Water wanted to build the Lighthouse Lane pump station on platforms. Thames Water asked Fiona to send them what she had so far so they could look into it. Thames Water also confirmed they would check to see if there was anything they could do such as raising the electrics to prevent damage by rising water levels.
Actions from Previous Meeting
To confirm actions completed from previous meeting.
v Members noted that parish councils could now nominate a representative and have a deputy that could attend Flood Liaison Group meetings but that they could not both attend at the same time.
v Action regarding the Environment Agency’s position on dredging would be covered within the Environment Agency’s update.
· 17 January 2017
· 4 April 2017
Members noted the future meetings of the Flood Liaison Group were:
Ø 17 January 2017
Ø 4 April 2017.