At the last meeting of the Stroud Valleys Water Forum Neil Carmichael MP had to leave early - see here - this was unexpected by us but we agreed to make a proper meeting as we had not discussed the issues we had arranged.
Photo: Stonehouse Town Hall where we met - great hospitality - tea and cake offered
The organiser of the Forum event made clear the meeting was 2 hours long and on Friday at 6.30 pm. I had to juggle other meetings to get there - you can understand people's disappointment and anger when Neil arrived to say he had to leave at 7pm. It meant we were unable to give a picture of what we had been doing in the four water/flood groups present. However we did try to race through the issues.
The news re Slad was on the whole very good - the EA scheme has been withdrawn due to costs - this was for two large ponds of attenuation - now this was accepted by the Slad Brook Action Group as a solution but also many of us were less than happy with the two large ponds - well now it looks like the EA will give the go-ahead for the much more sustainable (and lower cost) series of attenuation ponds - this would hold the same (or more) amount of water but in smaller ponds. It is also the option pushed by Water 21 and many others. Let us hope this now takes off. Neil has been supportive in opening up channels to DECC to hopefully make this happen.
We also had an update on the Foxes Field development - the development has begun - the top soil cleared - archaelogists have also been on the site - apparently some ruins and two bodies - not sure how old but v old - anyhow the concerns here are regarding how the water will be managed - the good news is that the District Council appears to be looking into this with lots of care.
I updated re the Ruscombe Brook group - see most of what I said here.
The Painswick group note that attenuation is being looked at in the valley - a real challenge as much water needed to be stored but the valley is steep and not many suitable places.
Lastly the Brigend group, BARFF, also gave a picture of where they are at - £70,000 plus has now been confirmed - this is being spent on 16 homes rather than 23 as they had wanted. Of course there are some that would rather have seen the money spent stopping the water coming down in the first place....it also seems that at a District Council Scrutiny meeting confirmation was given that the road height does lead to flooding of homes - see here.
The Forum also discussed what is the best way forward from here. Various ideas discussed about how we can continue to promote whole catchment approach to water. As a final point I was unable to get into issues about water regulation - I will put on this blog those issues within the next couple of weeks.