To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance, (copy enclosed).
The Committee considered the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance that provided Members with a six-monthly update on the action plan of flood mitigation projects across the district, as agreed at Audit Committee on 6 December 2018.
It was noted that the updates were highlighted in red on the action plan at appendix 1. Furthermore, that consideration of this live action plan of projects should assist Members when reviewing the current risk score for corporate risk “Failure to have a clear shared plan regarding strategic ownership of coastal, fluvial and surface water flooding mitigation and long-term maintenance responsibilities” on today’s agenda at Item 6. The Director of Resources asked the Lead Specialist Community to present the report and action Plan. For the benefit of new Members, the Lead Specialist Community provided the background to this key piece of work as follows:-
In response to the floods in 2007 in the Northeast of the country Sir Michael Pitt was charged with carrying out a review on flood risk management. One of the outcomes was the Flood and Water Management Act April 2010, which made the Environment Agency (EA)responsible for national strategy, Essex County Council (ECC) Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) responsible for district strategy and District Councils to act as risk management authorities. As a result of this all government funding to develop flood alleviation schemes had been allocated to the EA and ECC. This new strategy made the Council’s position very difficult in that they could only lobby partners to engage with bringing in funding to this district for flood alleviation projects.
The Plan presented today by the Lead Specialist Community had been developed through working in partnership with the Environment Agency, Anglian Water and ECC, facilitating meetings and setting up an Operational Group. The Plan was now a live working programme with a number of good schemes across the district at different stages of development.
At this point the Chairman reminded Members that the recommendation was, dependent on the outcome of the discussion, to look at possibly reducing the risk score for this corporate risk when debating the corporate register under Item 6 – Quarterly Review of Corporate Risk.
In response to questions from Members the following was reported:-
- that the Heybridge flood alleviation scheme with a date of March 2024 on the Plan was a separate line of development to the Heybridge Garden Settlement planning application;
- that the West Althorne embankment repairs scheme referred to the Southminster branch line. This scheme would involve partnership engagement with landowners, Network Rail being one of the major ones in the scheme;
- that ‘delivery in-house’ on the plan meant delivery by the Environment Agency’s in-house engineers;
- that the Stokes Hall scheme had been successfully completed in May 2019;
- that the Lead Specialist Community was working with landowners in respect of the Bradwell Waterside scheme;
- that with reference to the Brickhouse Farm scheme work was currently underway with ECC to discharge conditions around landscaping, types of trees preferred by MDC parks team, signage etc. A provisional start date had been agreed and next steps were around the felling of birch trees ideally as close to the start date as possible;
- that the Lead Specialist Community would report back at the next meeting on the Updated Flood Maps and on other issues raised outside of the meeting as appropriate.
It was noted that some of the updates at the meeting had not been incorporated in the Plan as they had happened post agenda publication, thus demonstrating how live the clear shared plan was.
The Chairman thanked the Lead Specialist Community for all her hard work and acknowledged how difficult it was to progress schemes when having to lobby for funding from partners.
The Chairman put the recommendation to the Committee and it was agreed.