Emergency Meeting of the Parish Council
November 26th 2012
Present: Jonathan Crowe (Chair), Mary Fox, David Pirie, John Rickman
This was an emergency meeting called to discuss recent rainfall and flood events. It was not formally advertised, but the Members attending agreed that it was worth having a formal discussion of flooding and possible actions as a result.
Discussion took place regarding the recent heavy rains around the 20th-25th November.
On the 21st/22nd 4 houses in the village experienced some measure of flooding - Niton on the Kineton Road, The Old Bakehouse (backed up drains), Church Cottage (well filling up), and Trevose on Kineton Road's garage was flooded. The car park of Silverstone Auctions (the old Meeting House) was also flooded to a depth of several inches.
The sewers were overflowing in Church Road - two drain covers, the one opposite the Village Shop and the one below that outside Church View in Church Road. This was to be the cause of the drains backing up in The Old Bakehouse.
Council Members had checked the other drainage in the village, with a view to possible solutions.
The Chairman said that he had spent some time sweeping drains above the roundabout on the B4100, down the Kineton Road and at the junction of Pimple Lane and the B4100.
The Chairman and John Rickman investigated the condition of the storm drain outfall, behind St Mark's Close and found the ground there to be flooded and the ditch running but overgrown and the main storm outlet for the village completely under water.
On the night of the 24th - 25th November John Rickman at the Old Bakehouse, Church Road, had his drains backing up again as a result of blocked or incapable sewers in Church Road. This resulted in foul water in his house.
1 Reinvestigate with WCC the possibility of storm bunds in the fields at the back of Kineton Road. Niton was flooded as a result of run-off from these fields. The drains were working well after clearance by the PC and residents. We believe that the overflowing sewers in Church Road were caused by the amount of water in their driveway as their foul water gutters would have been compromised.
2. Severn Trent came out late in the afternoon of the 21st November to investigate the overflowing sewers. They claim that these are combination sewers and that in times of heavy rain, storm water will get into the sewers. We need them to inform us where those entry points are. This would significantly help us to prevent flooding and sewage spillage. This is not the first time this phenomenon has been observed but it needs resolving because their pipes are not big enough to deal with excess storm water, and the team that came out on the 21st Nopvember admitted this. This put sewage in the streets (and into The Old Bakehouse) which is potentially a serious health risk and presumably at least partly their responsibility. We need a copy of their definitive map of the drains/ewers.
It would be interesting to know exactly what drain work was done on the recent refurbishment of the highway between Gaydon and Kineton, and the new hatch cover that was installed by Highways outside The Nest, Church Road. Has either of these activities caused the sewers to flood?
3. The Chairman had swept the drains above the roundabout on two occasions. This helped the flow of water. The ditch alongside Windy Ridge was functioning but was full and overflowing. We need to ask again about any possible means of altering the flow from this ditch or the camber of the road to take water across the road into the low-lying field above the roundabout. Anecdotally, we have been told that the land owner has had subsidy for this field as a flood defence. It has an existing ridge or berm on the corner above the roundabout which would delay any build up of water considerably. This was being looked into by WCC at last contact.
4. A key storm outlet for the village is at the end of the footpath that runs along the south side of St Mark's Close. The inspection hatch is overgrown, the ditches are in a poor state of maintenance, blocked with debris and foliage. We should ask the land owner to clear these as a matter of urgency. This is where all the storm water in the village, apart from that that goes down the Banbury Road ends up. If Mr Ellis (I think it is his land) cannot keep it spectacularly clear, then maybe we can negotiate with him to pay his contractors a little extra to keep it clear. This is crucial.
We are not sure who is responsible for the inspection hatch and keeping that clear. We believe it is Severn Trent. It is on Mr Ellis's land at the end of the footpath.
5. There appeared to be two blocked drain covers above the roundabout on the B4100 and significant quantities of leaves in the one outside Claylands on the Kineton Road. The one at the low point on the Kineton Road outside Penrith was cleared on the day by the resident and water dispersed immediately. We would like to request that all the drain covers in the village are checked as a matter of urgency as it does not seem to take much to block them.
6. It was agreed that we would draw up a check-list to be added to the emergency plan highlighting the areas of potential flooding. We could then maybe call on volunteers (many people have said they would be prepared to be on the Emergency Plan list as part of the Parish Plan exercise) to patrol these and ensure they are running properly at times of heavy rain.
7. John Rickman was going to look into the cost of pumps - both large petrol driven pumps and small electric ones (as used by the Old House to pump their pond)..
8. The Chairman was going to look into the cost of having a bunker with sand (possibly behind the Village Hall). There are sandbags available in the Village Hall garage but currently no sand to fill them with. This is a last resort measure and filling large quantities of sandbags will have no effect at the last minute, but could be effective in the event of creeping flooding.
9. The Chairman also noted that the 'grips' at the bottom of Pimple Lane into the ditch needed digging out to help the water flow. He had freed them up a bit during the heavy rain, but they needed a bit of spade work to make them more effective. He volunteered to do this.