Minutes of the Parrett Board Meeting held at Bradbury House, 33-34 Market Street, Highbridge on Tuesday 27 January 2015 at 2.15 pm.  Chairman: Mr P Maltby

The Chairman welcomed members to the meeting, requesting a minutes silence in respect for the anniversary of 70 years liberation from Auschwitz.

Attendance & Apologies for Absence: as per register appended.

Items Additional to the Agenda: None

Declarations of interest: None

Opportunity for members of the public to address the Board meeting: two members of the public present. Mr Goodland addressed the meeting on behalf of residents in the vicinity of Chadmead: when access to the area is prevented by flooding, a project previously proposed by the Board would prove most beneficial. Residents urge the Board to keep this project on the works list. Mr Maltby (PCM) confirmed that the scheme is to be given consideration during 2015/16.

  1. Minutes of the Full Board Meeting held on 25 November 2014: (appended) having been
  2. previously circulated the Chairman signed the minutes as a true and correct record of the meeting
  3. All in favour.  Matters Arising: Item 13 Flood Risk: Northmoor – members were advised that although levels rose at Chadmead, the water levels within the viewed rhyne network were as expected and high water levels depleted rapidly.

N Moon – members were advised that winter penn level is 3.1 and the automatic pumps operate at 3.4; it was agreed that P Ham (PSH) would investigate remote telemetry as pump notification for the Agency. Members further discussed the need for a meeting to provide an understanding of telemetry within the moors.

Flooding in Focus, RSPB report – it was agreed that copies of the report would be made available to members upon request.

Northmoor: concern was expressed by a member for the west side of the railway which restricts the flow of water and that raised water systems in this area are detrimental to residential sewerage systems.  Natural England and the Board have agreed water levels within the Water Level Management Plans, and principal water channels are to be operated in accordance with the agreements and key channels provide adequate conveyance and discharge. It was agreed after further discussion that the Clerk will write to NE to raise awareness of residential septic tank issues and arrange a meeting with the Agency at Northmoor Pumps to include a discussion on greater use of telemetry within the moors.

Item 12 Elsons Clyce – members were advised that the Agency intend to install a new flap valve during February to replace the broken seal.

IDS advised that the Agency have agreed to supply a temporary pump at Elsons Clyce if required; however the chamber would require modifications to raise walls to enable easier operation of a pump.Draft minutes of the Management Sub-Committee of 06 January 2015: (appended)

Having been previously circulated the minutes were duly noted by members

Draft minutes of the Finance & Governance Committee of 13 January 2015: (appended) Having been previously circulated the minutes were duly noted by members with the following comments:

  • J Healey thanked S Gee for preparing the finance documents
  • Item 7 N Lockyer is spelt incorrectly
  • Item 5 Thorney Ring Bank: the second payment of re-charged works has been received from the Environment Agency
  • Item 6 (7) £186k is the total of schemes eligible for grant funding, not total funding
  • Item 6 (7) Engineers costs to be shown as separate item on future finance reports
  • Thorney Pottery: a purchase order number has been processed to allow invoices to be preparedA meeting is to be held in-house to review schemes completed within the Favourable Conditions projects to identify any works necessary to improve structures within the Medium term Plan. Members were advised that all Grant in Aid funding is subject to audit at the end of the project.

Budget 2015/16: a full discussion was held (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Grant in Aid: surplus grant due to less work completed than anticipated, and un-completed works due to inclement weather to be returned – approx. £200k
  • Engineering administration costs to be listed outside of office administration costs
  • Engineering includes Expenditors, maintenance, vehicles, plant and engineering staff costs
  • Pension: auto enrollment staging date is March 2017
  • Contributing employers pay an additional amount to pension deficit fund on top of regular employment contributions
  • Previous resolution of the Board was to auto enroll on a works agreement with Expenditors, however Terms & Conditions for Expenditors is yet to be concluded
  • Fuel and lubricants: although crude costs have reduced over the course of 2014/15, costs may increase during 2015/16
  • Environment Agency Precept has increased by 2%
  • Board schemes: budget of £289k of which £186k is Board funding
  • Milk Quota: there is EU/Government intention to abolish milk quota in April 2015, however legislation states that the penny rate is set at rating values at 31 December – P Maltby, T Bradford and C Passmore declared an interest in this matter
  • Capital Schemes: majority of schemes have funds raised in previous years or are as yet unfunded
  • Capital schemes with an estimate of £10k will enable funding bids to be submitted by SRA or other body
  • Knapp Bridge Drove culvert could be a small scheme; therefore reduce estimated costs

The Finance & Governance sub-committee at its meeting of 13 January recommended to set a rate of 6.323p in the £ for the forthcoming year.

Proposed D Spicer, Seconded Cllr J Taylor ‘that the Parrett Internal Drainage Board set a rate of 6.323p in the £ for 2015/16 to raise a total Agricultural Rate of £150,306.04 and Special Levy of £689,840.75.’ Vote: unanimous RESOLUTION 1

Members were advised that the annual rate collection is significantly better than last year, and that the new rating system DRS, will be operational from April 2015.Engineering Report: (appended) P Ham (PSH) provided a brief overview of the maintenance report, which was duly noted by members.

I Sturdy (IDS) presented an overview of the summary engineers report:

  • A372 ‘Seven Bends’ members expressed concern that once the project is complete the Agency predicted outcomes may not be reached. It was agreed that the Clerk and Principal Engineer would write to the Agency to express the concerns of the Board.
  • A303 road protection at Ilchester: IDS advised that no detrimental impact is intended as a result of the Highway Agency’s proposals for flood relief works.
  • A request was made for a letter of gratitude to the Agency for their operation of King Sedgemoor Drain.

Development Control: Application 37/14/00122 quoted as Stockmoor Drive on report, however SDC has amended this to Somerset Bridge, Hamp Bridge, North Petherton. Officers were asked to be mindful of the land drainage issues within the vicinity and possible further development.20 year Flood Action Plan and Somerset Rivers Authority: NWS provided an update of the Flood Action Plan (FAP) and Somerset Rivers Authority (SRA) advising that the SRA takes over responsibility of the Leaders Implementation Group on 31 January 2015.

  • Local Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be devised, seeking agreement from local partners, to be reviewed prior to March 2016
  • MoU v5: key partners will have arranged for a review of the MoU by their respective legal advisors
  • The final MoU is expected to be received and operational by 31 January 2015
  • Due to media attention, rate payers and public expect the formation of the SRA from a FAP workstream
  • If time allows, a meeting of the SRA Working Group is to be called to review the final MoU
  • Extra-ordinary SWADA meeting to be held on 16 February to discuss SRA formation and operation
  • Concern expressed for long term funding
  • Lincolnshire model: initial discussion documentation available for member’s scrutiny
  • Clerk to discuss with Lincolnshire officers their issues with setting up an agreement
  • Delegated powers required for Working Group members for matters relating to the SRA

Proposed J Healey, Seconded D Spicer ‘that the delegated authority be given to the Somerset Rivers Authority Working Group joint Sub-Committee of the Parrett IDB for decision making concerning matters relating to the Somerset Rivers Authority.’ Vote: unanimous RESOLUTION 2

Proposed T Bradford, Seconded M Young ‘that Colin Passmore Ian Dyer and David Spicer stand as Deputies for the Somerset Rivers Authority on behalf of the Parrett IDB.’ Vote: unanimous RESOLUTION 3Special Correspondence and meetings: None

Any Other Business: T Bradford advised members that an Extra-Ordinary meeting of SWADA is to be held on Monday 16 February at the Oaktree Arena to discuss the SRA.

Date of Next Meeting: Consortium Management Committee 03 February, Employment & Machinery 24 February, Management Committee 21 April, Finance and Governance 19 May and Full Board 16 June.

Unless stated all meetings will be held at Bradbury House, 33-34 Market Street, Highbridge.There being no other business the Chairman thanked members and officers for attending and closed the meeting at 16.55pm