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RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting held on 23 November 2020 are correctly recorded and that they be signed by the Chairman.
Kent Flood Action Group Forum
(1) The Chairman welcomed Mr David Goff to the meeting. He explained that the purpose was for him to give a brief introduction to the newly formed Kent Flood Action Group Forum. A more detailed presentation would be given to the Committee at its meeting in July.
(2) Mr Goff said that the Kent Flood Action Group Forum (KFAGF) had been set up in November 2020, based on a model created in West Sussex some 3 to 4 years earlier. The KFAGF met fortnightly and aimed to promote effective communication and collaboration between Kent’s local flood groups in order to ensure that all ideas, information and experiences could be shared. It was supported in this aims by all the relevant agencies and organisations. The intention was to be proactive so that small, isolated action groups could be supported.
(3) Mr Goff said that the KFAGF’s current membership consisted of action groups from Collier Street, Ightham, East Peckham, Hildenborough, Tunbridge Wells and Headcorn. Support was provided by the National Flood Forum. Issues discussed by the KFAGF included riparian ownership, planning and development and surface water drainage.
(4) Mr Goff then said that communities had a great deal of experience to share and that doing so would protect or alleviate the misery of flooding. It was vital that everyone worked together, and he looked forward to working closely with the Kent Flood Risk Management Committee.
(5) The Chairman thanked Mr Goff for his contribution. He said that the creation of the KFAGF addressed one of his greatest concerns which was how information could be widely disseminated.
(6) RESOLVED to thank Mr David Goff for his introduction to the KFAGF and to invite him to give a more detailed presentation to the next meeting of the Committee.
Dates of future meetings
Monday, 5 July 2021
Monday, 22 November 2021
Monday, 14 March 2022
The Committee noted the following future meeting dates:-
Monday, 5 July 2021;
Monday, 22 November 2021;
Monday, 14 March 2022.
(1) Ms Sally Harvey (Environment Agency Kent and South London Area Director) gave a presentation. The accompanying slides can be found within the electronic papers for this meeting on the KCC website.
(2) Ms Harvey began her presentation on a positive note by saying that 50,000 properties in the Kent and South London area were now better protected from flooding as a result of the six-year capital programme. In fact, this figure had only very recently been achieved. The target figure for the programme was now 54,584 homes which was some 5,000 more than had originally been planned in 2015/16.
(3) Ms Harvey then turned to the Grant in Aid (GiA) performance during the programme period. She said that £314m of capital GiA work was due to have been undertaken by the end of the programme and that efficiency savings of £44.7m had been achieved. A further £35m had been secured from other sources.
(4) Ms Harvey moved on to describe some of the schemes that had been a part of the programme. The first of these was the Medway Property Flood Resilience Programme. She said that 285 properties had been individually protected across several parishes including Yalding and Collier Street. There had been some significant challenges and Members of the Environment Agency’s Regional Committee would shortly be considering a report providing assurance that the flood resilience of these properties was robust.
(5) The Broomhill Sands Coastal Defences Scheme was a £30m scheme to reduce the risk of flooding to 1,388 homes and over 100 local businesses. This had included the delivery of 265k tonnes of rock and the removal of over 36.1k tonnes of clay.
(6) Ms Harvey said that the Hythe Ranges Scheme would be celebrating its official opening at the end of the month. The MoD had contributed 27% of the funding for the £25m investment which would protect 787 properties. The work had involved the refurbishment and raising of 43 timber groynes, construction of a 200m rock revetment and recharging the shingle beach with over 300,000m3 of material.
(7) The Sandwich Town Tidal Defence Scheme had won a Gold in the National Considerate Constructors Awards. The Scheme protected 488 homes and 94 businesses and was delivered in partnership with Pfizer and Kent County Council at a cost of £24.6m, £1.1m of which consisted of recovery works following the 2013 tidal surge.
(8) The Fairlight Coast Protection Scheme for Rother DC reduced the risk of coastal erosion to 150 properties. The works involved the construction of rock revetment at the toe of cliffs. £1.5m Capital Funding had been allocated to the Scheme and a further £154k contribution had been secured.
(9) The Scheme at Coronation Road in Folkestone Council reduced the coastal erosion risk to 10 properties and the National infrastructure. Works involved: major concrete repairs to Coronation Parade, impressed cathodic protection to steel reinforcement, and 60m of rock revetment to prevent outflanking. This had been funded to the tune of £3m with ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
(1) Mr Harwood introduced his report by saying that since publication of the agenda papers, the number of Met Office Weather Warnings had risen from 45 to 47 between November 2020 and March 2021. Consequently, the table in Appendix 2 should be amended so that there were 6 Warnings for Fog and 5 different events. Likewise, the number of Warnings for Wind had increased to 6 in 5 different events. This meant that the number of severe weather warnings was almost identical as for the same period in the previous year.
(2) Mr Harwood then said that the most significant events of the period had been the very dry November. There had been no alarms until the week of Christmas 2020 with the arrival of Storm Bella bringing high winds and heavy rain. This had coincided with the Covid19 testing requirements, the suspension of sailings of freight to Calais and Boulogne as well as the problems at Manston where the lorry drivers had been stranded over the festive period.
(3) Mr Harwood turned to the precautionary evacuation which had taken place at Little Venice on 27 December. The co-operation between the various agencies as well as the owner and manager of the Park had worked smoothly.
(4) The Medway Confluence Partner Group had met during the festive period, working very well together to deploy sandbags. They had also been particularly successful in terms of clean-up and recovery interventions. This had involved the heavily silted drainage infrastructure.
(5) Mr Harwood said that there had been significant surface water flooding in January in sporadic locations across the entire county of Kent; from Edenbridge to Sheerness in the West to Alkham in the East. This had impacted on winterbournes such as the Nailbourne at Barham and the Drellingbourne in Alkham Valley.
(6) There had been highway flooding at Boughton Monchelsea where KCC Highways had worked very proactively in deploying pumps and tankers in order to clear the water before it could affect property. The community had also been proactive in alerting the agencies to the dangers at an early stage. The Boughton Monchelsea PC meeting, which Mr Harwood had attended following the event, had also provided important feedback.
(7) Mr Harwood continued by saying that Storm Darcey had brought persistent and occasionally heavy snow to the county on 7 and 8 February. No flooding had occurred, but there had been widespread disruption to the Medway Valley Line and to both the strategic and local highway networks including the A229 at Bluebell Hill and the A249 at Detling.
(8) Mr Harwood concluded his introduction by referring to his report to the previous meeting. Events had transpired as anticipated in that report. It was likely that the next few months would be a quieter period in terms in respect of severe weather impacts.
(9) Mrs Brown said that she and David Goff (Chair of Collier Street PC) had worked closely together during an unusual period which had seen the local villages affected by different ... view the full minutes text for item 5.