Agenda and minutes

Prosperous Staffordshire Select Committee
Tuesday, 10th October, 2017 10.00 am

Venue: Oak Room, County Buildings, Stafford

Contact: Julie Roberts  Email: julie.roberts@staffordshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

54.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Jeremy Pert declared an interest in the item on Flood Risk Management as he was a member of Eccleshall Flood Management Group.

55.

Minutes of the Prosperous Staffordshire Select Committee held on 12 September 2017 pdf icon PDF 150 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting of the Prosperous Staffordshire Select Committee held on 12 September 2017 be confirmed and  signed by the Chairman.

56.

Update on Flood Risk Management pdf icon PDF 308 KB

Report of the Cabinet Member for Commercial

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation and report from Hannah Burgess, Flood Risk Manager, on flood risk management arrangements in Staffordshire and new collaborative working for providing these services to other councils.  The Environment Agency, who were key partners in managing flooding, were in attendance and were invited to participate in the discussion.

 

Following the severe flooding during the summer of 2007 and a number of legislative changes, the County Council became a Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA), with various powers and statutory duties to manage and co-ordinate local flood risk management activities. Local flood risk means flooding from surface water (overland runoff), groundwater and smaller watercourses (known as Ordinary Watercourses).  The County Council did this by working together with other organisations including the Environment Agency, which managed flooding from generally larger rivers (known as Main Rivers, such as the River Trent); the Sow and Penk Internal Drainage Board (IDB) managing low lying areas around Stafford; District, Borough, Parish and Town Councils; and infrastructure/utility providers, such as Severn Trent Water, United Utilities and Highways England.

 

There were both strategic and operational elements to the role of LLFA.  Strategically, the Council needed to develop, maintain, apply and monitor a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy.  Operationally, the Council investigated flooding incidents, held a flood risk management asset database, and had powers to designate third party assets where they had an impact on flood risk.  The Council also regulated land drainage activities, including consenting to works and enforcement on Ordinary Watercourses outside of the Sow and Penk IDB area.  Additionally, in 2015 the LLFA became a statutory consultee for major planning applications for sustainable drainage designs.

 

In April 2017, the County Council had entered into Service Level Agreements with Walsall Council, the City of Wolverhampton Council and Sandwell Council to provide flood risk management services on their behalf.  This would generate an income of around £0.5m over the next three years.  To provide these services, the Flood Risk Management Team had restructured and increased its capacity by 2.2 FTEs.  The Business Case put forward had allowed the Team to offer a £30k/year saving in its revenue budget for the next three years.

 

Members were informed that local flood alleviation schemes were primarily funded by national Flood Defence Grant in Aid that the County Council could bid for.  The process of allocating and accessing this funding was incredibly complex.  The amount of funding allocated rarely covered the full cost of a scheme as it was mainly based on the number of houses protected rather than the scheme cost.  To top up funding so that a scheme could proceed, the Council need to seek contributions from regional flood alleviation funds, local authorities, other flood management partners, other funding streams such as environmental projects, and the businesses and communities that were at risk of flooding.  This system was known as “Partnership Funding”.  Experience to date was that additional funding was challenging to find for small projects.  The Council had had some success in securing regional flood alleviation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 56.

57.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 278 KB

Minutes:

The Select Committee received a copy of their 2017/18 Work Programme.

 

As outlined in the Work Programme, a briefing note had been circulated to members on the Staffordshire History Centre, and Joanna Terry, Head of Archives was in attendance to answer questions. A further, more detailed briefing including plans was brought to the meeting.  Members agreed that this was an exciting new development which was an asset to the County and should be given more emphasis and a higher profile.  They requested that they be given the opportunity to have a tour around the History Centre, to enable them to be greater advocates for the service and also asked that the details tabled at the meeting be circulated to all members via the e-bulletin.

 

RESOLVED – That:

a)    The Work Programme for 2017/18 be noted;

b)    The progress on the Staffordshire History Centre be noted; and

c)     Members of the Select Committee be invited to a guided tour of the Centre.