Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber - Town Hall, Maidenhead
Contact: Wendy Binmore 01628796251
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Larcombe.
To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting.
RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the minutes of the meeting held on 31 July 2019 be approved subject to the following amendments:
Page 3, 3rd paragraph should read - Brianne Vally from the EA indicated that there were two pieces of strategic work regarding flood risk management that needed to be carried out; a Thames Flood Risk Management Plan (as required by the Flood Risk Regulations 2009), a collation of all measures the Risk Management Authorities took to alleviate flooding and also, a River Basin Management Plan.
Page 3, 1st paragraph of Thames Water update should read - Denise Kinsella, Thames Water, stated that she was aware that meetings regarding Ham Island Sewage Treatment Works had been held with the Parish Council and that another meeting was being scheduled, as questions around capacity of the works have been raised.
ACTIONS ARISING FROM PREVIOUS MINUTES
To confirm the actions from the previous meeting.
The Flood Risk Manager to request a start date for the works and then let Ian Thompson know
The action was relating to CCTV survey work due to be carried out by Volker highways on the “barrel arch” culvert. The Flood Risk Manager confirmed that some works had been carried out but the Borough was still waiting for the report.
v Action – the Flood Risk Manager to chase up the report from Volkers Highways, and inform the Parish of the outcome.
The Clerk to circulate the presentation on the likely timeline for progression of the River Thames Scheme to the Members of the Flood Liaison Group
The Clerk confirmed the presentation was circulated the week commencing 21 October 2019.
Brianne Vally to find any information on the possible transfer of responsibilities for navigation to the Canal and River Trust and to circulate prior to the next meeting.
Brianne Vally confirmed that she had circulation all the information she had available to the Members of the Flood Liaison Group. Ministers had concluded that it was not feasible at this time, to transfer responsibility for navigation on inland waterways to the Canal and River Trust. The Environment Agency would therefore retain this responsibility.
UPDATE FROM THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCY
To receive the above verbal update.
Update on the River Thames Scheme
David Bedlington, Environment Agency (EA), provided a timeline for the River Thames Scheme (RTS) and circulated a handout of the timeline (attached to the minutes).
David Bedlington stated that Surrey County Council had approved funding for the scheme at their Full Council meeting held at 14.00 on 29 October 2019 and that meant that funding for the scheme was now in place. He confirmed that based on the Flood Defence Grant in Aid funding available, plus funding from central government and committed funding from other partners such as the Royal Borough and private contributors, funding for the RTS was now in place.
Surrey County Council had made a press announcement before their Full Council meeting which only related to the funding they were contributing to the scheme; as long as all the other promises of funding were confirmed, the scheme was now fully funded. The next step was to go to the Treasure with a business case so there were four or five months to firm up all funding before approaching the Treasury.
David Bedlington confirmed the announcement made by Surrey County Council regarding the funding being in place was not an official EA announcement, it was a Surrey County Council announcement; the approval of the business case by the Treasury will allow the EA to carry out all works required to go into the final business case. It will also allow engagement with stakeholders, and the public to commence. This would include open public forums and open days. Members of the Flood Liaison Group would be invited to attend.
v Action – David Bedlington to attend the next meeting of the Flood Liaison Group and facilitate discussion on how public engagement on the RTS may be progressed.
David Bedlington explained to Members that OJEU (Official Journal of the European Union) was the procurement process the EA would be following due to the value of the scheme being so high. The EA would use a bespoke competitive tender to enable contractors to put together bids for the contract to be received by November 2020. The earlier the EA went out to the market, the less risky the project became as the contractor chosen would be on board from the beginning of the project, allowing early contractor engagement on issues such as buildability and programming of the works. The tender included the design and build aspects of the scheme.
There is a high degree of confidence in the envisaged four year construction programme and it is anticipated that the diversion channels will be constructed in parallel (i.e. at the same time). Works will not however end at substantial completion / operational completion of the diversion channels and creation of the pocket parks, and completion of the cycle ways and landscaping works could take a further 5 years.
Dave Bedlington confirmed that there is a contingency allow of circa 35% included in the scheme estimates to allow for potential risks during the construction of the RTS. ... view the full minutes text for item 116.
UPDATE FROM THAMES WATER
To receive the above verbal update.
Denise Kinsella, Thames Water, informed Members that Thames water were preparing for winter, to keep pipework and drains clear and flowing. They were working with customers to keep their water flowing during the winter and had been repairing 1,000 leaks a week.
Denise Kinsella confirmed that no further work would be undertaken at Lightlands Lane Pumping Station and that the station was running fine. After the last flood, Thames Water repaired the gap in the flood defence wall and altered the surface water drainage system in the pumping stations compound. This made the station more resilient to flooding
Ian Thompson stated that Datchet Common Brook had a number of significant blockages, he had produced a report to send to Thames Water (who were the riparian owner of this length of watercourse) and handed a copy of his report to Denise Kinsella. Ian report included photos indicating the blockages.
Ian Thompson also stated that discussions needed to continue regarding the installation of a control valve on an existing outfall to Datchet Common Brook, near Penn Road. Denise Kinsella explained that this issue had been discussed following the previous meeting of the Flood Liaison Group and Thames Water’s position was that they would need assurance that the installation of a valve was appropriated and would not create problems elsewhere. Ian Thompson responded that Thames Water had sold off some of their land in this area and that Thames Water may no longer be the landowner. Ownership of the land in question therefore needed to be confirmed. Denise Kinsella confirmed she would clarify the extent of Thames Water’s land ownership. The Chairman queried whether, following the last meeting, had any action begun, had anyone commissioned an impact assessment relating to the installation of a valve. That needed to be done and the impact needed to be assessed by the EA. The Flood Risk Manager stated the action needed to be carried out by the Borough as the outfall was on an ordinary watercourse. A flat valve might not have an adverse impact elsewhere, but he was not sure if it would help the situation either. This needed to be raised with the Council’s Commissioning Team. The Chairman asked Ian Thompson to send him his proposal and he would forward it to the Commissioning Team.
v Action – Ian Thompson to send the Chairman his proposal for the installation of a control valve on the ordinary watercourse outfall to Datchet Common Brook. The Chairman will then forward this to the Commissioning Team – Denise Kinsella to check who owns the land and where Thames Water’s responsibilities end.
Denise Kinsella also stated that Thames Water were still in discussion with OFWAT regarding their future business plan.
UPDATE FROM RBWM
To Receive the above verbal update from RBWM.
Simon Lavin, Flood Risk Manager stated the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy was being progressed and the Borough was also currently reviewing its Adverse Weather Plan. Amy Gower, Emergency Planning Officer, stated that once the adverse weather plan had been updated, the Council could make sure the advice on flooding was correct. The Flood Risk Manager confirmed the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy was a high-level strategy and would make reference to other policy documents such as the Adverse Weather Plan. Community Flood Plans would sit below the Adverse Weather Plan.
The Emergency Planning Officer confirmed there was a teleconference being held on 26 November 2019 which was in lieu of the usual flood warden meeting that used to be held at this time of year. Ian Thompson stated Datchet had a meeting with flood wardens in November to make sure the parish was ready for any flooding event.
Mike Williams asked where the key for the repaired weir on the Horton Drain was held. The Chairman stated that a replacement key was being manufactured and that this key would remain with Volker Highways. The Borough will take responsibility for the operation of the weir and will develop a management strategy / processes for the weir.
Ian Thompson circulated a report on the Wraysbury Drain, written by Councillor Larcombe. The Chairman requested the report be attached to the minutes.
v Action – The Clerk to attach the report written by Councillor Larcombe on the Wraysbury Drain to the minutes.
The Emergency Planning Officer requested that Parish Councils provide contact details for their flood wardens, so the Council could make contact with them.
v Action – Parish Councils to email list of their flood wardens to the Clerk for circulation to the Emergency Planning Team at the Borough.
UPDATE FROM THE PARISH COUNCILS
To receive the above verbal update.
The Flood Risk Manager stated the Planning Enforcement Team had served an enforcement notice for the removal of the hardstanding placed in Feathers Lane (near Hythe End Road). A notice will also be served by the Borough for the reinstatement of the ditch to its previous condition.
The Chairman commended that the Borough’s Legal Team would like to contact the Wraysbury Parish Council Clerk to request any archived documents on the Inclosures Awards, applying to the Horton and Wraysbury Drains that they might have.
Martin Coker stated that Cookham Parish Council had recently requested confirmation that a plan was in place for the operation of the Causeway during a flood event. The Emergency Planning Officer responded that she was aware of the issues around Cookham and that this plan was currently being reviewed. If any changes are considered necessary the Parish will be consulted. Other parishes will also be contacted regarding any plans they have in place.
Ian Thompson said that he was concerned that further works had been undertaken at the Poplars in Datchet during the summer of 2019. The landowner had cut a pathway down to the river so the pathway ran from Southlea Road directly to the river and a new patio had been installed alongside the river. If the river rose water would follow the line of the pathway. The EA said they would get their properties manager to look into the current position relating to the River Thames Scheme offtake. Some of the risk should be mitigated in the short term by the proposed installation of temporary flood defences. The area was being looked at by the RTS and compulsory purchase of land was possible. She added she would try and get an update for the next meeting.
v Action – Brianne Vally to provide an update on the Poplars Southlea Road and the River Thames Scheme offtake proposals for the next meeting.
Brianne Vally asked who the responsible officer at the Borough was for Battlemead Common. The Chairman stated the lead officers were David Scott, Head of Communities and Russell O’Keefe, Executive Director – Place.
v Action – The Clerk to contact David Scott and Russell O’Keefe and ask them to make contact with Brianne Vally at the Environment Agency regarding Battlemead Common.