Minutes of the Brue Catchment Meeting Held at 1 Church Street, Highbridge on Tuesday 02

December 2014 at 10.30 am. Chairman: Mr Ray Adlam

  1. Attendance and Apologies: as per register appended

Items additional to the agenda: None

  1. Declarations of interest: – members were asked to declare an interest as it arises throughout the meeting.
  2. Opportunity for the public to address the meeting: no members of the public present.
  3. Minutes of the Brue Catchment meeting held on 02 September 2014: (appended) having been previously circulated, one amendment was made; Item 8 Maintenance Programme: Members agreed that this work should be undertaken and re-charged accordingly. With this one amendment the minutes were signed by the Chairman as a true and correct record of the meeting held.
  4. Matters Arising: Item 6 Tealham Moor – repair work
  5. Item 8 Maintenance Programme: additional work out of the Board area has been completed, however in accordance with the previous meeting, has not been re-charged.
  6. Item 8 Favourable Conditions (FC): the FC projects will conclude during this financial year at approx. £30k under budget. In accordance with FC protocol, unused funds are to be returned.
  7. Item 9 Flooding and Land Use project: members were advised that a grant funding application for this project may be submitted to the Royal Bath & West Society.
  8. Item 9 Public Sector Co-operation Agreement (PSCA): NWS advised that no PSCAs have been agreed to date as the insurance element is under consideration; the Board has a limited indemnity insurance which is not in line with the Environment Agency (Agency).
  9. Item 11 NWS advised that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to be signed by all partners, with local MOU’s for funding and future works to follow accordingly. A sustainable funding stream is to be agreed, and public conception of the responsibility of the Somerset Rivers Authority is to be clarified prior to a Public Consultation.
  10. Item 12 staffing: funded by Somerset County Council (SCC) as alternative projects beyond

Board membership: members were advised that Resolution 9 of the last Full Board meeting co-opted Mrs P Judah to the Board; however as an appointed member Mrs Judah currently retains a seat on the Board at the discretion of Sedgemoor District Council. Members were asked to give consideration to landowners who may be willing to sit for the Glastonbury and Highbridge & Burnham areas.

  1. Finance – overview of expenditure and budget: (appended) SMG apologised for the report being tabled. SMG advised that two areas indicate being over-budget: tree works at Middle Rhyne and annual maintenance of 11 Favourable Conditions telemetry sites.
  2. M Andrews, Tractor Operative is now employed 4 days per week, an increase of 1 day.
  3. Non-routine maintenance tree and vegetation maintenance should be Axe Catchment not Brue.
  4. The report was duly noted by members.
  5. Maintenance Programme: A Dowden (AJD) advised that contractor M Lunnon has not completed his contract despite many reminders. It was agreed after discussion that awarding of contracts to this contractor will be reviewed at the tenders meeting of 17 March 2015.
  6. 11.05am N Lukins joined the meeting
  7. MS Wall (MSW) advised that all contractor maintenance with the exception of the M5 channel is complete.
  8. Pitmoor Lane Rhyne: de-silting of Back Lane has improved the flow and conveyance through the
  9. Northwick Road: an enforcement notice has been served for works to be undertaken shortly;
  10. however if necessary the Board will undertake the works and re-charge the landowner accordingly.
  11. Improvements and capital works programme:  (IDS) I Sturdy advised that both North & South drain budgets are significantly under budget by £150k and £800k respectively, however not all funding has been claimed. The 2014/15 budget is funding that has been claimed for this year.  Investigations will be made to ensure objectives have been met adequately prior to closing the FC project for audit.
  12. Nancy Collins (NJC) is working on FC as well as increasingly on SRA control of structures and operational procedure: The majority of FC projects were completed at end of last summer and will be monitored through the winter to ensure the schemes work effectively.
  13. Matthew Wall (MSW) was requested to raise a structure to 2.1 on North side and 2.2 on the south side against the Brue, however members agreed to keep it as intended and monitor the situation. Natural England (NE) would prefer all structures to be operated as per the agreement for target levels. FC is intended to keep water high and decrease slowly in a managed format within the South Drain and North Drain.
  14. East & West waste – funding was requested initially for projects to be completed by June 2015; SMG advised that funding is being drawn down as necessary and reminded members that this is not FC work.
  15. IDS advised that an extension is being sought for Axe Brue Health & Safety projects which will require a new grant application submission; under new guidance and regulations there may not be funding by GIA for ‘upper area’ H & S projects. An upper area H&S appraisal has been undertaken; one project could be submitted for GIA, however the Board is mindful that less than 45% may be received.
  16. Development Control: (appended) National Grid (NG) project – Iain Sturdy (IDS) preliminary meeting with the inspectorate is scheduled for Jan 19th; The Board would need to register and IDS will attend.

By mid-February an initial statement of common ground should be signed by the Board & NG to indicate matters for agreement i.e. Proximity of towers to water courses, disruption to ditches, haul roads etc.  The Board’s comments focus on access for maintenance, culverts and disruption to the water course network.

Planning: erection of 175 houses – surface water conditions need to be discussed. Offsite works are to be completed by the developer. However the site surface water will feed into an EA w/c.  AJD and MSW to discuss/investigate the plan and dictate that SW details should be discussed/agreed to the Board. Concern was expressed by members for storage of water.

Special Correspondence: NWS –Sharpham Drove Rhyne; Durston’s peat development – concern of flood risk due to peat development and boundary treatment. Works have been undertaken in accordance with agreed plans, however neighbouring land owners and a local MP have expressed concern.  NWS advised that banks and associated works are as approved.  Clay binding to be erected as flood relief at the end of the scheme.  History was explained by AJD.  Members agree that the Board did well and improved flood risk to the area.  NWS to respond to application accordingly.

  1. Any Other Business: Bradbury House open day on the 8th December 4:30 – 7:00pm.
  2. SWADA on the 10th
  3. Meetings calendar – March 17th meetings to be reviewed by the Chairman and Assistant Clerk; revised calendar to be disseminated to members.

Date of next meeting: SWADA 10 December 2014 at Oaktree Arena and Full Board 20 January 2015 to be held at Bradbury House, Market Street, Highbridge.

There being no other business the Chairman thanked members and officers for attending and closed the meeting at 12 noon.