Minutes of the Axe Catchment Meeting, held at 1 Church Street on Friday 29 August 2014 at 10.30am

Chairman: Mr Jim Lukins

 Members expressed gratitude to N Stevens (NWS) and staff for the recent Axe Brue tour, which members found to be interesting and enjoyable.

  1. Attendance and Apologies: Appended. R Adlam. R Cook may have to leave early.
  2. Items additional to the agenda: none
  3. Declarations of interest: E Scott – May Ditch. Cllr A Gilling – planning.
  4. Opportunity for the public to address the meeting: None
  5. Minutes of the Axe Catchment Sub-Committee meeting on Friday 21 February 2014: (Appended) the minutes were signed by the Chairman as a true and accurate record of the meeting held.

Proposed J Healey seconded R Cook, all agreed. RESOLUTION 1

  1. Matters Arising: Engineering Report: National Grid –the IDB was required to register to the Planning Inspector for submission of comments to planning applications including National Grid and Arup; the Clerk advised that concern had been expressed regarding the dis-application of several byelaws and that consideration of consent under the Land Drainage Act is required for any structures in watercourses, and are seeking to confirm that, as a minimum, section 23 still applies. The Board is seeking to recover staff costs involved with NG discussions.

Bleadon Sluice: the Environment Agency (the Agency) advises that matters are progressing, although no agreement has been finalised. The structure may be a split leaf gate.

Hall Road: temporary planning consent has been given, however the culverts will need to be correctly engineered and should be removed at the end of the project. Members were advised that a temporary planning consent is considered to be 25 years.

Ivy Down Ditch: work was awarded to J D Pope at the last meeting; Ashfords Solicitors are preparing legal agreements to allow work to commence with Messer’s Body and Tanner.

Hixham Rhyne: NWS advised that a Public Sector Co-operation Agreement is to be considered for the Agency to fund works that the Board will undertake. AJD advised that the estimated costs of de-silting approximately 3,500m from the Old Pump House into Knowle Moor £4,000, and general weed clean from the Old Pump House into Knowle Moor £1,200. It was agreed to seek approval from the Agency, with a PSCA for the Board to undertake some maintenance work.

May Ditch: A Dowden (AJD) advised that Bristol Water (May Gurney) has requested a meeting with the Board to discuss re-instatement of the banks on May Ditch, Bailiffs Wall and the Mill Stream Axbridge; a site meeting will be held on 03 December 2014.

  1. Finance – overview of expenditure and budget: NWS apologised for the unavailability of
  2. S Gee. Members were advised that there are no points of concern at this time.
  3. Engineering Report: a) Maintenance and improvements – Biddisham (Map ref S1): M S Wall (MSW) advised that a post flood alleviation project has been designed to include installation of a box culvert to increase run-off, which will cost an estimated £65k. Funding of this project was discussed at length; it was agreed that the project, in principal, should go ahead with funding to be agreed in due course and that the Board will consider the best engineering approach as no external funding will be requested. It was further agreed that tenders should be sought for the project.

Proposed: Cllr A Gilling, Seconded: Cllr E Scott “that the Axe Brue Board proceeds in principal with the Biddisham post flood alleviation project and requests tenders for the scheme.” All in favour RESOLVED 2

New bridge Ditch and Sperts Ditch outfall (AX03): MSW advised that a new tilting weir to reduce blockages and allow greater control and flexibility of water through the system as a Health & Safety scheme should receive 45% Grant in Aid. Future works in this area may include a small scheme to improve existing watercourses and alleviate flooding issues to Manor Farm.

Proposed: R Cook, Seconded: Cllr A Gilling “that M S Wall undertakes a levels survey and associated investigation to develop a scheme for future works to improve existing watercourses for flood alleviation at Biddisham.” Vote: 8 for, 0 against, 3 abstain Motion carried. RESOLUTION 3

Labourham Drove, Cheddar: A Dowden (AJD) advised that traffic attending a regular car boot sale is believed to have damaged the headwall of a culvert; it was agreed after discussion, that AJD should meet with the car boot sale organiser to discuss the matter.

  1. Any Other Business: (1) W Welland requested ID cards for Board members to aid identification when undertaking land/rhyne maintenance monitoring. Members were reminded that the Board’s Powers of Entry relate to non-residential land only, and that access over residential land would require Notice of Entry. After much discussion it was agreed that routine inspections by members would be discussed at a Full Board meeting. It was recommended that members telephone land owners prior to monitoring/inspections.
  2. ID cards will be produced for those members who do not currently hold one.

(2) B Stitch advised that the Environment Agency has begun clearing downstream of Clewer Pumping Station, and that the River Yeo has been completed.

(3) AJD advised that the Boards’ Massey Ferguson tractor had been sold via written tender, and a Massey Ferguson and associated attachments had been purchased from the Parrett Board, which is working satisfactorily.

  1. Date and Venue of next meeting:
  • Finance & Governance 14 October 2014 1 Church Street
  • SDBC AGM 21 October 2014 Huntworth Suite, Jct 24
  • Full Board

There being no other business, members and officers were thanked for attending. The meeting was closed by the Chairman at 11.40am