The Chairman of the Impact of Flooding in the District Task Group, Councillor R. Hunter, presented the group’s final report for Cabinet’s consideration. Members were advised that the group had aimed to bring forward proposals that would help to prepare the District for any future risks of flooding. A range of Officers had been interviewed during the review and the group’s proposals were based on the evidence that had been gathered. In particular, Councillor Hunter emphasised the group’s conclusion that developers needed to be encouraged to use the most advanced methods to prevent flooding and that this should be emphasised in the Local Plan. Councillor Hunter thanked the other members of the group who had participated in the review, Councillors A. Beaumont, S. Colella, C. Spencer and H. Rone-Clarke, for their hard work as well as the Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services, Councillor M. Sherrey, for providing evidence. Officers were also thanked for their support, particularly the Democratic Services Officer, the Environmental Services Manager and the Senior Water Management Officer.
The Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services subsequently presented the Cabinet’s response to the Impact of Flooding in the District Task Group’s final report.
In response to the group’s first recommendation, which proposed that a business case should be prepared regarding the potential for two additional land drainage operatives to be employed in Bromsgrove, Cabinet was informed that the Senior Water Management Officer was in the process of preparing a maintenance plan covering both Council owned assets and partner’ assets. It was anticipated that this plan would provide accurate information about what resources were required to manage assets in the District moving forward. The North Worcestershire Water Management team and Bromsgrove District Council would be communicating with other organisations that owned assets in the District, including Worcestershire County Council and Bromsgrove District Housing Trust (BDHT), to establish how those organisations planned to fulfil their maintenance responsibilities in respect of their assets. As part of this process, opportunities to work in partnership would be discussed. The review work underpinning the plan had been ongoing for approximately 18 months and it was anticipated that this work would be completed by September 2021. In this context, Members were advised that this recommendation would not be accepted at this time.
In relation to the group’s second recommendation, which proposed a publicity campaign to raise the profile of the North Worcestershire Water Management service, Members were informed that responsibilities for land drainage were shared between a number of organisations. This included Worcestershire County Council, the North Worcestershire Water Management service, the Environment Agency and Severn Trent Water. Consequently, a publicity campaign that focused on the role of the North Worcestershire Water Management team would only provide a partial overview of the system. For this reason, Cabinet would be rejecting the recommendation. However, Cabinet was proposing that the Council should work with the North Worcestershire Water Management team to make sure that the Council’s website clarified responsibilities and provided accurate contact details. It was also noted that ... view the full minutes text for item 6