Thank you all for attending 6th December 2023. It is very much appreciated and vital that we keep the group pushing forward and banging the drum to establish support for the maintenance of the local watercourse and disposal of surface water, which has been neglected for some years. I would like to thank Councillor Roger Jackson for his continued support. We also welcomed Peter Cross from the Lowdham Flood Action Group, FLAG. Peter has given invaluable guidance and will continue to assist us if needed.
This is not going to be a quick fix and the issue will not go away until we address as many contributions as we can.
I will be brief with updates and cover the meeting agenda in order.
Progress was reported at the meeting but is also covered in the following:
The Parish Council have supported the action to write to local Landowners and Farmers in the catchment area and encourage good practice with ditch maintenance and establish any possible interest with Flood Intervention Schemes. Costs are always a consideration, and I am sourcing what financial support is available for consideration. Once we can identify anyone who may consider flood management, we propose a meeting with all interested parties. Dr Scott Mackenzie from the Trent River Trust has indicated he would attend and give background into possible and current schemes. Most of the incentive grants are available from Defra or the Environment Agency.
Gullies and Drain Failure.
Via Limited, an arm of NSDC have been quick to respond to our request of an initial clean of Gullies and Drains in the village. This was followed by the Jetter who flushed through the system. Maintenance work has been identified and a plan is proposed, details of which we do not have at the time of this update. The road sweeper has attended the clean-up. The Parish Council will request a regular monthly road sweep going forward over the winter months. The Gullies and Drains will continue to be monitored by the Parish Council but please do let the EFPG know of any problems as they occur.
Internal Board and Environment Agency.
There is no doubt there is a lack of maintenance and resulting problems along the Park Drain/Dover Beck. I have also requested a review of the Wash Bridge and current blockages.
The Environment Agency have recently met with me and agreed further investigations. Constant calls and emails have resulted in the opportunity to meet with both agencies at the Newark Council Offices in January. The suggested date is after 8th January, and I must confirm availability.
I will make sure I attend any date suggested and encourage as many of you as possible to show support. I propose Wednesday 9th January, it may well be during the day. If anyone can and is willing to attend, please can you let me know.
During the research and review of the watercourse system, it was apparent that a volume of treated water from the Water Treatment Plant at Calverton feeds directly into the Grimesmoor Dyke and in turn, the Dover Beck. There has been significant growth of Calverton in recent years and therefore the volume of treated water has increased substantially.
The Treatment Plant is currently being extended to accommodate the increase of housing. The Dover Beck also takes the surface water from the large catchment area which has also increased.
We urgently need a regular maintenance programme for the Dover Beck to accommodate the increase of water in the water course.
I have attached a report from Simon to give an outline to the issue.
Water Mills and Sluice Gates.
It is the responsibility of the Mill Owner to fulfil drainage bylaw obligations. Keeping Sluice Gates closed causes blockages upstream. It is a consideration that the local Paper Mill, currently for sale and the Lowdham Mill have not always reacted to the water levels. Roger Jackson has offered to communicate with Mill owners in
the catchment area. For historical reference I attach a map of the Mills, some now out of operation. For clarity if anyone suffers loss or damage because a Mill owner has changed or neglected the structure civil action may be taken. Keeping gates and screens clear of obstructions so they work properly is expected. This was quoted on a paper from the Environment Agency Living on the edge. A guide to the responsibility of riverside ownership.
Community Flood Signage Scheme.
Thank you to everyone who has volunteered for this. It really is very important for any future issues. Paul Bracegirdle has steered the Flood Warden training, thank you.
Training is ongoing and with continued communication from Dr Josh Wells the Wardens should be in action early in the new year.
A webinar has taken place, and a Flood Signing Scheme Policy has been created. Thank you to the 11 volunteers involved with the scheme.
We are planning to keep a supply of Aqua Sacks and Sandbags at the Village Hall. The Road Signs and equipment will also be held in the store.
Individual homeowners are encouraged to be prepared and purchase supplies of Sandbags and Aqua Sacks as required.
The Parish Council have agreed to purchase a quantity for general use.
I would like to propose a Flood Group WhatsApp Group. If you wish to join for updates on any flood alerts, weather forecast or water course maintenance it is the quickest and easiest way to do so. If you would like to join, send me a message with your mobile number and I will add you. Contact Michelle Home 07970 707405.
The Parish Council now have a Flood Action Group page on the Parish Website. Please check this for any updates or messages.
We will continue to use the village grapevine email and Facebook for those not connected to the group.
A group Photographer would be handy, any blockages or damage which may cause obstruction to water flow is very useful when requesting agency help. It shows the detail of the problem with time and date of incident. Would someone be willing to do this?
A Flood Action Plan is required. If anyone is available to do this, please can you let me know? Most agencies expect this from any formed Flood Group. I have examples of local Action Plans from several villages. Please contact me if you can assist with this.
Walkers are encouraged to check for blockages of Ditches and Gullies. We can only action this if we know about it. If anyone can help with this, please let me know.
Lowdham suffers considerable flooding, it is getting better with all the investment and attention given. I have therefore asked Peter Cross if Epperstone can be included in any Water Agency meetings that may assist us. He has agreed to this.
As a small village and suffering low level flooding, we are not a priority in the scheme of current work schedules.
As mentioned above, we need someone to take photographs while walking, Ditch and Gullies routine checking and preparation of a Flood Action Plan document.
I am happy to keep the pressure on the Environment Agency and internal Drainage Board to encourage maintenance support of the Dover Beck.
It is suggested we meet again in February.
If you have any questions or would like to contribute to any of the issues raised, please do so. Any suggestions are valued and encouraged.
Epperstone Flood Prevention Group.