Beck Working Group - 18 October 2021

Notes of the meeting of the Beck Working Group held at 2pm on Monday 18 October 2021
In attendance:
Councillors: P Jenkinson (PJ) (Chairman), J Radcliffe (JR)
Terry Williams (TW), Julia Goodman (JG), Mike Spencer, D Newsam (DN),Jane Ashby (JA) (Facilities Manager) & Claire Ward (CW) (Assist. Clerk)
1. Welcome 
   The Chairman welcomed everyone present
2. To receive apologies
Apologies received from Henry Spiers (new member)
3. To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 5 July 2021
It was proposed, seconded, and 
AGREED: that the notes of the Beck working group meeting held on 5 July 2021 be approved as a correct record and be signed by the chairman. Unanimous           
4. To receive any matters arising 
  • There is still one vacancy on the group
  • The application to the EA (weir repairs and sizing) is on hold
  • A member of the group offered to meet the EA on site if necessary
5. Facilities Manager Report
  • A letter has been sent to the landowner regarding the clearance of vegetation at the S bends
  • Facilities manager has requested a site visit with James Gill (EA)
  • Completion of an Environment Agency ‘low risk impediment check list’ may clarify next steps regarding apron and weir post renovation. 
6. Chairman’s report
  • The weir will be removed next week in line with the licence        Action PJ/JA
  • Routine clearing of vegetation continues to be carried out by the facilities tea
  • Some major clearing of vegetation swept down the beck by recent heavy rainfall has been undertaken by Cllr Newsam and Facilities Manager
  • The new LRT trust manager has yet to be appointed, TW has also stood down
  • It was proposed to invite Gail Talton (LRT project officer) to the next meeting                     Action PJ/JA
7. Further beck updates
  • In the summer a second small bank was created with input from children attending the Steeping stones nursery. The plants have taken more slowly and there is an open space where the public can step down and get closer to the beck. There has been a positive response from residents.
  • The initial berm has flourished and the vegetation hasn’t grown too tall
  • The beck is being monitored – the deeper faster flowing area has resulted in cleaner gravel, and more fry and shrimps being present. The little egret has also returned.
  • The irises have been re planted at the back of the vines and are looking good.
  • The group agreed to notify the office when further work was planned to take place
8. Suggestions for further small scale projects
  • It has been suggested that it might be nice to create a small island behind Troika. To be discussed further at a future meeting.
9. Report on Hydraulic Investigation on Nettleham Beck related to Low Flow Channel Proposal
  • Previous hydraulic modelling of the beck has shown the main cause of flooding to be the culverts. 
  • The area behind the Co-op is the Co-ops responsibility but Charlotte Elkington has not responded to any communication about this matter
  • A resident took a keen interest in the LRT project to install berms behind the White Hart concerned that it would cause flooding. Further measurements and modelling have taken place.
  • Conclusion is that if the LRT project was installed near the White Hart it would be a potential cause of flooding to the properties along that stretch.
  • Alan Gardener (WTIDB) concluded it was not appropriate to go ahead although the drainage board have given support.
  • A scaled down version would present less of an issue but would detract from the projects original objectives. Suggestion is to focus on the alternative LRT scheme at the back of the Old School with LRT’s approval.
  • It was proposed to invite Alan Gardener to future meeting and also seek  approval for this action Action FM
  • The group discussed previous projects that had been proposed for Kingsway however permission was not given by the landowner. Options for flood alleviation around the village were also reviewed.
10. To discuss amendments to the Draft Nettleham Beck Management Plan(v.8)
  • Letters to riparian owners have been removed in response to comments from the Parish Council
(a) Discussion in relation to Part B of the Beck Management Plan
  • A resident drafted Part B aims and objectives but a member of the group raised concerns on behalf of the Parish Council. For example, enabling actions include ‘hydraulic modelling of the beck with calculations of how various changes are likely to affect flooding’, which would be very expensive to undertake.
  • It was proposed that the Chairman of the BWG and the Facilities manager revisit part B and remove elements that are unreasonable, sending the amended version to a member of the group who has offered to review it. Action PJ/JA/TW
It was proposed, seconded, and 
AGREED: that the amended draft Nettleham Beck Management Plan, following close scrutiny of part B by the Chairman and FM, can go forward for consideration by the Property Committee at their next meeting on 9 November 2021
11. Any other business
  • It was agreed that once removed the old weir board could be used to make another planter for MP (DN)
  • Beck inspection report(TW)
- S bends are in good shape
- Section through fields is obstructed by weeds not branches and these move down the beck in large quantities following periods of high rainfall
- Kingsway is in good shape
  • FM planning to contact the owner of the land on the other side of the beck (S bends) (FM)
  • Offer to help maintain the banks and also take over quarterly inspection (JG)
  • Is this a good time to review responsibility for quarterly inspections of sections of the beck? (JR)
12. Date of the next meeting – Late January 2022 Action PJ
Meeting closed at 15.20