The Drainage Boards draw funds from two main sources to cover their core role of managing water levels; by means of a drainage rate charged to occupiers of agricultural land and a special levy charged to district councils in respect of non-agricultural land.
The formula used to determine the split between rates and levy is set down in the Land Drainage Act 1991 and is based on land values.
Every year the Boards review their estimated costs and set a penny rate in order to raise sufficient funds to meet their obligations. The rate is set and the special levy determined no later than 15th February by a meeting of the Board and is advertised on the website noticeboard.
In addition to this core funding the Boards also receive grant funding towards the cost of capital projects. This grant-in-aid is a percentage of the cost of the work as determined by DEFRA, from whom most such grant is received. The Boards also carry out rechargeable watercourse maintenance and other work on behalf of third parties. Increasingly the Boards are becoming involved in aspects of the planning, approval and consenting process and will charge appropriate costs for this work. The Boards have received grants from other sources in the past and will continue to seek out and utilise opportunities to obtain additional funding.
The Boards’ annual accounts are prepared on an income and expenditure basis and, as required by the Accounts and Audit (England) Regulations 2011, are submitted on the Audit Commission’s Annual return. Accounts are approved by the Board not later than the end of June and are subject to a limited assurance audit by an external auditor appointed by the Audit Commission.
Details of the audit and public access to the books of account will be advertised on the website noticeboard and, following completion of the audit, the accounts will be available to view on the accounts page.