Presentation to The L G A Special Interest Group in London Martin Wright (Chair - TAG Coastal & Fluvial Management Committee) & Tony Brummel (Cherwell DC) MWA
Content • Technical Advisors Group (TAG) • Coastal & Fluvial Committee • Coastal work • Fluvial work • Interface with the LGA MWA
TAG - History • Association of Chief Technical Officers (ACTO) • Committee “G” – dealing with coastal management • Formed in 1993 • Attended by practitioners at all levels MWA
TAG • TAG formed in 1996 from ACTO • TAG covers approximately 40% of all Local Authorities • Coastal Committee formed with similar references to the old Committee G MWA
Original Coastal Committee ‘To offer advice and Technical support on coastal management and engineering issues to the members of TAG , their Authorities, the Local Government Association, Central Government and related ‘Special Interest Groups’ MWA
Original Coastal CommitteeAreas of work (1) • Coastal Zone Management • Coastal Defence • Docks & Harbours • Marine Pollution • Dredging MWA
Original Coastal CommitteeAreas of work (2) • Shoreline Management Plans • Beach Management • Cliff Instability • Flood Warnings • Land Drainage at the Coastline MWA
Coastal & Fluvial Management Committee • TAG Coastal Management brief extended into Fluvial Management • TAG is the only advisory body in England & Wales dealing with fluvial management • TAG website www.tagonline.co.uk.has advice on all aspects of the committee’s coastal & fluvial work MWA
Coastal & Fluvial - Powers to carry out work • All powers are permissive • Powers not responsibilities • Coast Protection Act 1949 – coast protection (coastal erosion) • Land Drainage Act 1991 – main river and ordinary watercourses • Water Resources Act 1991 – sea defence (coastal flooding) MWA
Coastal & Fluvial - Making Space for Water • Defra initiative • Consultation completed • LGA, TAG & Coastal Groups all responded • General agreement that LAs & Coastal Groups have a part to play in the delivery of coastal risk management • Changing Environment Agency roles MWA
Coastal & Estuaries- Shoreline Management Plans • All original SMPs now completed in both England & Wales • SMP2 trials at 3 locations in S & E England • New guidance issued for SMP2 • SMP2 now ongoing in England & Wales • Appropriate Assessments now necessary • Costs high due to complexity + challenges MWA
Coastal & Fluvial - Climate Change • Sea level rise + increase in storminess • Sea level rise originally fixed at circa 5mm per year; now revised figures • Increase in storminess most evident in summer storms viz Hull / Sheffield areas & Gloucester / Tewkesbury areas • Government increase in funding to £800 million by 2011 from current £600 million MWA
Changes in Fluvial Management • Critical Ordinary Watercourses (COWs) • Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUDs) • Water Resources Act • Defra / EA management changes • New Local Authority grant application procedure for Ordinary Watercourses • New arrangements for private sewers • Divesting of both SWS and FWS • Drains MWA
TAG interfaces • Existing interface with LGA coastal officers group and the Coastal Groups • Enhanced profile of both coastal and fluvial management due to recent events • Increasing political focus on global warming – both sea level rise & increase in storminess MWA
TAG interface with LGA on fluvial matters • Does the LGA have a need for a Special Interest Group? • Does the LGA require technical assistance from TAG on fluvial matters? • Is there a way we can all work together to influence Government both in England & Wales? MWA
TAG interface with LGA MWA Questions and Discussion
Critical Ordinary Watercourses • Those watercourses previously under the control of the Local Authority and causing the highest risk of property flooding have been “en-mained” and now fall under the control of the Environment Agency as the “Operating Authority”. • Sections of watercourse where flood risk is highest continuously downstream to existing “main rivers”. • COW transfers took place in three phases between 2004 and 2006. MWA
Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUDS) • A generic term for effecting surface water drainage other than by direct discharge to watercourses or sewers. • Soakage basins. • Soakaways • Swales. • Permeable pavements. • Rainwater harvesting. MWA
Defra / EA management changes • EA now responsible for dealing with all applications for both main rivers and ordinary watercourses • New application system recently brought in for both EA & LA schemes • Bids for LA medium-term programme due by 31 August 2007 • Priority score to be replaced by “Outcome Measures” MWA
Ordinary Watercourses • New arrangements now in place for Local Authorities to apply for 100% grant aid. • Applications for approval of “Preliminary Studies” on Form FRM7. £2m+ approved nationally, others locally • Project Appraisal necessary in all cases • Application for the “Medium Term Capital Works Programme” on Form FRM 1 • All applications were to be submitted by 31 August MWA
New arrangements for Private Sewers • In February 2007 Defra decided that all private sewers (with a few exceptions) would become the responsibility of Water and Sewerage Companies throughout England and Wales, e.g. Thames Water, Welsh Water etc. • Currently all sewers other than public sewers are private sewers and are the responsibility of the householders / property owners that use them regardless of location. MWA
New arrangements for Private Sewers MWA Private sewers can be just 1 or 2 metres long and are the responsibility of 1 or 2 householders. They can be hundreds of metres long and the joint responsibility of hundreds of householders. Most private sewers are partly in “public” areas, e.g. highways. Most householders do not know the extent of their responsibilities for private sewers or that they have any responsibility at all.
New arrangements for Private Sewers MWA Most householders still think “the Council” are responsible for all sewers and drainage. Defra is now consulting on the detail of the transfer. Consultation closes on 19 October.
New arrangements for Private Sewers MWA Details being consulted on One off overnight transfer for all private sewers Phased transfer Rights of appeal in favour of or against transfers Should surface water as well as foul sewers be transferred? How do we ensure that future building standards conform to the expectations of the WaSCs?
Divesting of Public Foul and Surface Water Sewers • Allegations that some WaSCs have unilaterally divested previously designated public sewers • Effect is to transfer responsibility to private householders. • Divesting is possible but should follow a prescribed statutory process. MWA
Divesting of Public Foul and Surface Water Sewers MWA Some public surface water sewers have been divested on the basis that they are watercourses and therefore should not have been vested in the first place. Implications on the COW en-mainment process if sensitive surface water sewers are to be treated as watercourses.
Drains • Legal definition. • Drains can serve only one property. • Sewers can serve only more than one property. • In all other respects equal. • Drains can be surface water drains or foul drains or combined foul/surface water drains. • Alleged problems with “drains” in recent flood events • “Drains designed to lower standards MWA
TAG interface with LGA • Existing interface with coastal officers group • Enhanced profile of both coastal and fluvial management due to recent events • Political focus on global warming – both sea level rise & increase in storminess MWA
TAG interface with LGA • Does the LGA have a need for a Special Interest Group? • Does the LGA require technical assistance from TAG on fluvial matters? • Is there a way we can all work together to influence Government both in England & Wales? MWA