Friday, 24 May 2013

Minutes Of Flood Liaison Meeting From 28th September

Paul has sent the minutes from the last flood liaison meeting. See below.

Paul will attend the next meeting on the 31st May so if anybody has any issues they would like Paul to take then please let Paul know before the 31st May.  



INTRODUCTION - The Chairman welcomed delegates to the meeting and explained that the previous meeting had been cancelled owing to the lack of information available to report and the feeling that to call a meeting in such circumstances could not be justified.

78        RESPONSIBILITIES - The Group was advised that funding had been made available by the Government to support the Council in its work in relation to
flood matters.  This funding had allowed an increase in staffing to assist in this work and bring about increased capacity.

79        RECENT FLOODING EVENTS - Although there had been a band of significant rain, this had not been as bad as originally thought in the East Riding area.  At its peak there had been 20-30 millimetres in two days, which had caused some surface flooding but nothing in comparison to other parts of the country.  The River Derwent was still flooding, whilst there had been some road closures and concerns relating to the River Aire.  At Snaith there had been some seepage through the flood bank, however, this had been stabilised and would be subject to further investigation.  The north eastern region had been particularly badly hit with 125 millimetres recorded in parts of Durham over a 24 hour period.  The rainfall, in the East Riding although comparatively speaking, had been less, the rivers joining the Ouse were registering high levels.  At York the water was half a metre below the flood defence level and there had been an incident at Cawood where the army had assisted with the provision of sandbags which had prevented an overspill.  At Selby the waters were half a metre below the flood defence line although it had been noticed that the levels were beginning to decline.  The Ings were full but, overall the event was now considered to be past the worst point in terms of threat.

80        UPDATE ON LOCAL PLAN - ALLOCATION OF LAND FOR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT IN FLOOD RISK AREAS - The Local Plan would be used to establish the strategic direction and type of development to be promoted within the East Riding as well as its location.  There was a need to establish a balance in order to protect the environment whilst tackling social and economic factors.

            As part of this process the Council had to judge the merits of individual sites of which 1,600 land bids had been submitted, many of which promoted different types of development.  As part of the process the level of need had to be determined.  This included cognisance of flooding risk as a part of the key assessment tool in order to avoid such areas.  To date the land bids had been assessed and forwarded to town and parish councils as part of an additional consultation round to assess the information held and for it to be fact checked by those with local knowledge.  This exercise however, was not an evaluation of a site’s merits.  Local intelligence was a useful part of the process and would help to establish factors such as localised flooding.

            There would be further consultation in January and February 2013 on the draft Local Plan when stakeholders would be given the opportunity to express views.  Following this there was a question and answer session.

·        It was confirmed that the timescale for responses on the fact checking exercise was the end of October 2012.
·        Planning applications currently within the process that received approval would be deducted from allocations within the Local Plan.
·        Flooding would be taken into account as part of the planning process.  The Council would have to gauge its approach and look at such issues and establish whether risk could be mitigated as part of any proposal.
·        There would be clarification on the number of allocation sites as there were some anomalies within the various plans available.


            (i)         Flood Mitigation  - The Authority had received £4.5 million for flood mitigation works which had been allocated via a four year programme.  To date 150 schemes had been delivered whilst a number were nearing completion.

            (ii)        Phase Two - The Council had identified a further £2 million for schemes and had sought bids for this funding.  The result had been positive, although funding had been oversubscribed by £9 million.  The Council had assessed the needs and benefits of those submissions received and the schemes identified would be implemented over a four-year programme.  The assessment would give justification as to why the work was required, following which there would be modelling and ultimately its construction.  As part of the modelling process the Council would have to look at how the need arose and understand why flooding occurred.

            (iii)       Partnership Funding - Given the economic climate, the joint funding of schemes was essential.  Partnership funding included sources such as the National Flood Defence Grant, local levy, European grants and OfWAT determinations.  The partnership funding approach was more likely to attract Government funding as it reflected a coming together of interested parties to the benefit of the community.  At a sub-regional level the Council had made 59 submissions of the 105 being considered.  The Council had adopted a comprehensive approach to partnership funding in order to provide a co-ordinated approach with Hull City, the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water.  Following this there was a question and answer session.

·        There were some iniquities in the way national funding was distributed for flood alleviation purposes.  The Council’s view had been made known on this as it was considered that the population density distribution factor unfairly favoured urban areas which although affected by flooding, was not necessarily at the same extent, but the density factor meant that value for money was a factor that counted against rural areas where flooding could be very severe but did not impact on the same density of population to win funding.

·         The Council’s voice was being heard and there was a need for this to continue in a structured and ordered way in terms of influencing the distribution of funding.

82        FLOOD RISK ASSESSMENT - UPDATE ON THREE FLOOD RISK AREAS (GOOLE, BRIDLINGTON AND BEVERLEY) - The Council had identified three flood risk areas of significance and had included them within its Flood Risk Assessment despite not meeting the criteria being used for England within the guidance.  This proposal had been rejected and although the Council had argued against this, the Environment Agency had restated its original decision which had been endorsed by the National Panel.  This issue would be the subject of further discussion at the Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee as it was felt that there should be equity across the country. 

            The representative of the Environment Agency reported that the second round of Flood Risk Assessments would commence in 2015, and offered an opportunity to submit views to DEFRA regarding the inclusion of the three flood risk areas of Beverley, Bridlington and Goole within the assessment.  As part of this process East Riding MPs had been engaged and were fully behind the Council in its efforts.

83        FLOOD INVESTIGATIONS UPDATE - The Group was given an update on the Council’s latest flood investigation which arose through its statutory duty.

            (i)        Goole - There had been floods in Goole in July 2012.  Approximately 300 homes within the Carr Lane catchment area had been affected, of which 40 had experienced internal flooding.  For some occupiers this had been the second time within a year.  Geographically Goole was within a bowl and drainage was controlled by a pumping station at Carr Lane.  About 60% of the town’s drainage system ran through Carr Lane and although the rain had not been considered exceptional there had been an operational failure at Carr Lane.  This failure reduced pumping capacity and had resulted in water backing up into the town.  There had been an extensive response from all parties which had included the use of additional pipes to pump water into the river.  An interim report would be submitted to The Cabinet in October 2012, whilst Yorkshire Water had agreed to maintaining temporary pumps and pipes on site to provide some reassurance.

            (ii)       Swinefleet - This had arisen on the same day as storms in Goole and had resulted in external and internal flooding of properties.   Investigations had revealed a high level of weed growth which had hindered the flow from outfalls.  As a result of this incident work was being undertaken to remove hindrances to flows.

            (iii)      Pocklington - There had been disruption of nine commercial properties within the town centre.  There was a beck in the middle of the town which had been culverted, however it was restricted and in the event of too much water flow the beck could not cope and water was forced into the town centre.  This culvert restriction caused problems as many drains discharged into the beck thereby swamping the system.  A number of remedies had been identified including improvement to the culvert, attenuation further upstream or an overland route. 

            (iv)      Enforcement - The Council carried out investigations and issued enforcement requests.  This included sending out orders to riparian owners to undertake their drainage responsibilities.  The Council had found that the best way of achieving results was through dialogue with landowners rather than by the serving of notices.  Following this there was a question and answer session.

·        In terms of process work had to be commenced backwards from pipe outfalls towards the uppermost branch of a drainage system to ensure all problems had been addressed.

·        The Council was aware of flood issues in Hedon Main Street and St Augustine’s Gate and was considering solutions.

·        Often with drainage systems there was a problem further down stream and therefore the Council was attempting to put pressure on those responsible for these particular areas.  Through the enacting of various pieces of legislation a greater degree of responsibility now rested with internal drainage boards who were responsible in undertaking necessary remedial works.

·        The Council had invested in new gully cleaning machinery and was also looking to fine tune its schedule of works through the use of local knowledge to identify problem areas. 

·        The East Riding area as a whole had to make itself more resilient and raise the threshold at which flooding became a risk.

·        In terms of those struggling with insurance costs as a result of flooding issues they should be referred to the National Flood Forum for its specialist advice on insurance matters.

84        COTTINGHAM AND ORCHARD PARK FLOOD ALLEVIATION SCHEME (COPFAS)\WILLERBY AND DERRIGHAM FLOOD ALLEVIATION SCHEME (WADFAS) - Each scheme was costed at over £10m and was principally funded from national flood defence grant.  Feasibility and modelling work had been undertaken to prove the economic case for both schemes.  The Willerby scheme had been submitted to the National Assessment Team from which positive feedback had been received.  There was a likelihood that European Union funding was likely and the Council was optimistic about its various funding options.  There were also complementary schemes being undertaken by the Environment Agency for the River Hull and the Humber frontage as well as the Hull sewerage system.

            There were seven watersheds that flowed into Hull.  Two intervention areas had been identified and the work to bring this about was a partnership scheme with Hull City Council and the Environment Agency.  To date the flood model had been completed and a series of tests undertaken to ensure the model worked before identifying interventions.  The model would be used to fine tune the scheme as well as being used in the future for other proposals within the East Riding area.  The aim was to hold back the flows in order to prevent flooding and then allow for a controlled release of water.  The scheme was designed at a one in one hundred year eventuality plus 30% for climate change which was at a level significantly higher than levels required by insurance companies.  It was anticipated that the scheme would realise a series of lagoons to address flooding, however even at this stage the scheme was still being developed which could realise further change.  There was also still a need to achieve funding from the various funding bodies.

            In terms of the Cottingham and Orchard Park scheme, the aim was to develop attenuation areas to hold and store water.  Following a consultation exercise an improved version of the scheme had been developed in order to hold water to the west of the old railway line.  More work was required in terms of the geology of the area as well as a possibility of constructing lagoons.  The aim was for both this scheme and the Willerby scheme to be completed and operational by February 2015.  As part of this work Yorkshire Water had been heavily engaged and supportive of the process. 

85        ENVIRONMENT AGENCY - UPDATE - There had been weed cutting at drains, which had been undertaken in liaison with internal drainage boards.  One pump at Tickton was to be refurbished which was part of a cyclical programme of maintenance.  The same process would also ensue at Wilfholme to ensure that the pump remained fit for purpose.  The anticipated down time for this work was four weeks.  There were contingency plans in place in the event of an emergency.  There would also be pump refurbishment at Winestead, however this work would need to be carefully planned because of the significance of the station.

            The River Hull/Humber frontage scheme would cost £30 to £40m and would commence in 2014-15 once investigations had been concluded.

            Work was also ongoing between East Riding of Yorkshire and Hull City Councils regarding east coast erosion and tidal inundation in light of the anticipated half metre rise in sea levels. Following this there was a question and answer session.

·        Delegates queried whether the Agency’s weed cutting exercise had been commenced too late in the year and as a result outfalls had been blocked and water could not drain away.  The work had been constrained by the weather, however comments of landowners would be taken into account by the Environment Agency.


            The following agenda items were identified for the Group’s next meeting:-

·        Weed cutting programme.

·        Emergency contact numbers relating to flooding.

87        QUESTIONS - Only two questions had been received, one of which had been addressed at the meeting.  A written response would be forwarded directly to Cherry Burton Parish Council in relation to its question.

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