Apologies for Absence
There were no apologies.
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
Councillor Jones noted that the following suggestion be added to the Rushcliffe Equality Scheme Item
· People with disabilities and access
The minutes of the meeting 27 August 2020 were approved as a true record of the meeting.
The report of the Executive Manager – Neighbourhoods is attached.
The Executive Manager – Neighbourhoods presented his report which provided the Group with an update on the current picture of flooding events in the Borough. The report also outlined the organisations involved in flood assessment and drainage work, their roles and responsibilities and how they respond to flooding incidents and work with communities. A presentation was delivered by three of the key organisations involved: Nottinghamshire County Council, the Trent Valley Internal Drainage Board and Rushcliffe Borough Council.
The Team Manager of Flood Risk Management at Nottinghamshire County Council explained that Nottinghamshire County Council was the lead local flood authority and that they were responsible for reducing flood risk across Nottinghamshire. A presentation was delivered to the Group which covered:
· water courses
· sewer flooding
· responses to events
· role in planning process
· section 19 reports
· mitigation and prevention
· examples of responses across the Borough
· making a difference in communities
Following questions from the Group, the Team Manager of Flood Risk Management explained that water courses were examined depending on if there had been a recent flooding event. The Group were also pleased to note that Nottinghamshire County Council had received a £200,000 grant to investigate flood risk potential in West Bridgford.
It was also explained that Nottinghamshire County Council examined flood risk assessments in which developers provided evidence of where water would go if it overflowed. However, it was noted that there was difficulty in knowing whether the planning applications would be as the same delivered. The Group were asked to encourage residents to take photographs and video footage and to contact the Flood Risk Management Team if they had any concerns about flooding on new housing developments.
It was noted that once a flood occurred that the team would examine the immediate cause and inspect the surrounding area regularly. Councillors raised concerns that a lot of agencies were involved with the response to flooding and that residents would benefit from a roles and responsibilities document with contact details. It was explained that Nottinghamshire County Council’s main responsibility was to co-ordinate a response to flooding and to produce section 19 reports which detail follow up and future actions in order for flooding to be prevented in the future.
The Chairman thanked the Team Manager of Flood Risk Management for delivering the presentation to the Group and for answering their questions.
The Group next received a presentation from the Chairman of the Trent Valley Internal Drainage Board (TVIDB.) It was noted that the TVIDB operate within a defined area, which is known as a drainage district and that they were responsible for managing water levels in low-lying areas. Their responsibilities included districts and their functions include supervising land drainage and flood defence works on ordinary watercourses.
The Chairman of the TVIDB delivered a presentation to the Group which covered:
· The Internal Drainage Board
· Income and Expenditure
· Water, Capital & Environmental Works
· Water Level Management
· Dealing with an Emergency
· Public Sector Corporation Agreements
· Examples of Work Undertaken in Rushcliffe
Following the presentation the ... view the full minutes text for item 25.
The report of the Executive Manager – Communities is attached.
The Communities Manager presented the report of the Executive Manager – Communities which detailed the draft Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Strategy aims and objectives, developed by the Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Strategy Implementation Group (RNCSIG) in which the Council were represented. It was explained that the aims and objectives of the strategy detailed ways to enhance and protect Rushcliffe’s wildlife. The objective of this Strategy is to protect and enhance Rushcliffe’s wildlife interest, whilst helping achieve the Nottinghamshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan objectives.
It was noted that the RNCSIG was now consulting on developing the strategy and asked the Group to provide comments on the draft aims and objectives of the strategy. It was explained that a wider public consultation would follow and then a final draft version of the Strategy would be returned to Communities Scrutiny Group in 2021 for endorsement and to seek commitment in the delivery of the Strategy.
The Environmental Sustainability Officer delivered a presentation to the Group which covered:
· Pledge for Nature
· Rushcliffe Today
· Achievements of 2015 – 2020
· Proposed Strategic Aims 2021 – 2025
· Proposed Objectives 2021 – 2025
· Woodland and Trees
· Species-rich Grassland on Roadsides
· Grantham Canal
· Biodiversity net gain
· Next Stages
Following the presentation, the Group asked numerous questions regarding planning applications and biodiversity net gain. The Environmental Sustainability Officer explained that developments would now have to prove that bio-diversity would increase. The Environmental Sustainability Officer was pleased to note that the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust promoted developments of high bio diversity value. Councillors also raised concerns about the fences installed in new developments which did not allow wildlife to move around freely. The Portfolio Holder for Planning and Housing suggested that councillors should raise their views regarding the planning for the future consultation which closed on 29 October.
The Group also proposed that the Grantham Canal had to be maintained. It was noted that the canal had become dry from leaks which consequently, saw a reduction in wildlife. Councillor Combellack stated that she had formed the Grantham Canal Water Restoration Group with the Chairman of Kinoulton Parish Council. It was explained that the aim of the Group was to apply pressure to the Canal and Rivers Trust and the Grantham Canal Society and to seek funding opportunities to resolve the water loss problem at the basins in Hickling and Kinoulton. It was suggested that the Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Strategy needed to provide robust support to the Grantham Canal in order for the rural asset to be preserved. It was agreed that the Council would write to the Canal and Rivers Trust and the Grantham Canal Society to explain their concerns. The Environment Sustainability Officer also agreed to circulate a position statement from the Canal and Rivers Trust which would inform the Group of their future actions.
The Group were informed that Nottinghamshire County Council were actively planting native seeds and altering mowing schedules to selected road verges to increase wild flowering across the County. The Group were pleased to note that the number ... view the full minutes text for item 26.
The report of the Executive Manager – Finanace and Corporate Services is attached.
The Executive Manager – Neighbourhoods presented the report of the Executive Manager – Finance and Corporate Services which detailed the Communities Scrutiny Group work programme for 2020/21.
It was agreed that a briefing would be organised for the Group to cover dog fouling and littering in January before the meeting scheduled on the 28 January 2021. The Group suggested that they would receive a presentation on the topic and have a short discussion and set actions in principle before the meeting on 28 January 2021.
It was RESOLVED that
a) The work programme for the communities scrutiny group below be noted.
b) The Communities Scrutiny Group receive a briefing regarding dog fouling and littering in advance of the scheduled meeting on 28 January 2021.