Beck working group - 15 March 2021

Minutes of the Meeting of the Beck Working Group held at 2pm on Monday 15th March 2021 via Zoom
In attendance:  
Councillors: P Jenkinson (PJ) (Chairman), J Radcliffe (JR), D Newsam (DN). 
Terry Williams, Bill Ball (BB), Julia Goodman (JG) & Michelle Vail (FM Facilities Manager)
1.  Welcome
The Chairman welcomed those in attendance and a special welcome to Julia.
2. To receive apologies
Apologies received from Ross Marshall & Mike Spencer.
3. To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 23 November 2020 
Following feedback and minor changes the minutes were unanimously agreed and signed by the Chairman. 
4. To receive any matters arising; including e-mail from Mr Spencer
No matters arising.
5. & 6. To consider any feedback from Environment Agency (EA) regarding whether a variation of licence is required in respect of the weirs protruding above the beck & To note position regarding stoning of the weirs
  • The FM advised that an email had been sent to the Environment Agency (Dec 2020) and a response is awaited;
  • There followed discussion that an option could be to replace the weir boards on 1 April to see what happens e.g. if the beck level returns also if the mud returns – although to await response from E.A. regarding replacement of 3rd weir board.  Could replace 2 of the 3 weir boards, however;
  •  It was acknowledged that the council is not obliged to replace the boards
  •  The issue of the height of weir boards in relation to the Rivers authority licences issued was also discussed;
  • It was raised that the cheapest option is to reduce the height of weir – until a response from EA is received.
7. To receive report on research into low summer flows in Beck above Riseholme (BB)
  • It was raised that that the beck level rose sharply during December 2020 likely as a result of the water started coming through from Grange De Lings;
  • It be noted that a local family also hold an abstraction licence.
8. To receive any feedback from Environment Agency concerning weir above The Croft (BB)
  • It was suggested that submission of a Freedom of Information request may lead to progression of the information already requested from EA.  MV to progress action.
9. Riparian owners - their rights and responsibilities (MS)
  • MS not present
10. To receive comments on the LRT Limestone Beck Project (BB)
  •  It was raised that there could be a potential for flooding if a berm scheme was introduced.  Information put forward by a member of the BWG, sourced from the internal drainage board suggested the flooding risk could increase by 15%;
  • In response, another member of the BWG provided alternative information which had been put forward by the EA at a public meeting - advising there is no additional risk of flooding as a result of berms being put in place.  Also that the Internal Drainage Board (IDB) gave consent without the requirement for the detailed measurement of the berm height; Action: - TW to liaise with Lincs River Trust to get berm measurement.
  • The Vicarage Lane culvert was raised as a critical point and (if not clear) may impact that stretch.
  • Suggestion that the Council/BWG seek community support and grant funding for the taking the project forward;
Action: - JG & BB to develop a plan for and coordinate the construction of an experimental berm
11. To consider revised Draft Nettleham Beck Management Plan (v. 6) and aims and objectives document (attached)
  • The final draft Beck Management plan requires some additional information adding, which has already been developed, before taking to the Parish Council for approval and agreement for responsibility for the contents.  Following discussion, it was proposed, seconded and agreed to put the revised plan to the Parish Council for approval.  For 4; 1 against.
12. To consider general maintenance of the Beck (PJ) and any actions required including reports by WG members of beck inspections 
  • Following discussion, it was confirmed that rubbish, including a gas board cone, had been cleared from the S bends beck area;
  • The farmer (landowner) maintains the area and excellent at clearing it;
  • Recommendation is to ensure that the beck areas be kept neat and tidy to maintain areas for wild life;
  • Contact to be made with the Riparian owners, in the Vicarage Lane area, once Covid restrictions eased;
13. Date of next meeting:  Originally agreed as 7/6/21 – but date changed to enable all to meet face to face.  
Next meeting to be held on Monday 5th July 2021 at 2pm, Small Hall, Old School
Meeting closed at 15.26pm