Safer and Stronger Communities Scrutiny Panel – 24 November 2009

PRESENT: Councillor Davison in the Chair.

Councillors Ali, Armitage, Clark, T Foster, Jawaid and Waltham

Councillor Poole attended the meeting in accordance with Procedure Rule 1.37 (b).

The panel met at Pittwood House, Scunthorpe.


Nature of Interest
Councillor Davison Councillor Clark 216
Husband employed by Neighbourhood and Environmental Services
Relative received flood grant from North Lincolnshire Council
Councillor T Foster 216 Member of Ancholme Internal Drainage Board
Councillor R Waltham 216 Member of Scunthorpe Internal Drainage Board

No whip was declared.

214 MINUTES – Resolved – That the minutes of the proceedings of this panel held on 10 November 2009, and the special meetings held on 3, 4 and 10 November 2009, having been printed and circulated amongst the members, be taken as read and correctly recorded and signed by the chair.

215 PUBLIC REQUESTS TO SPEAK There were no requests received.

216 LOCAL ACTION TAKEN TO MANAGE FLOOD RISK IN NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE – The Service Director Legal and Democratic confirmed that the proposed site visits had been cancelled due to the inclement weather and poor visibility.

(i) To receive a presentation on the progress to date and the outstanding issues facing North Lincolnshire – The Chair welcomed the following Officers to the meeting –

  • Geoff Popple, Service Director Highways and Planning
  • Rob Beales, Head of Better Routes
  • Rod Chapman, Asset Team Manager, Better Routes
  • David Harrison, Drainage and Bridges Engineer, Better Routes

Members received a visual presentation, which highlighted the fluvial flooding risk within North Lincolnshire. The panel was advised that this did not provide any indication as to what areas would be affected by surface flooding.

Rob Beales explained that the main focus had been on identification and clearance of gulleys, ditches and culverts. Members were advised that the inventory had not been kept up to date, there was no record of drain runs and how they were connected, all of which had to be addressed.

A significant amount of time had been spent in clearance, however this was not just at the openings and often included the use of cameras down the pipes to identify blockages.

Further discussions took place and covered aspects such as the costs involved with cleaning and replacement, the ownership of ditches and the responsibility of homeowners to ensure that they were kept clear.

Particular focus was given to the extensive work ongoing within Kirton in Lindsey, which the panel was advised was now entering the final phase. Rob Beales explained that significant extra cost had been incurred as a result of having to use directional drilling.

Members were of the view that a great deal of responsibility and expense had been placed on North Lincolnshire Council, even though work had been conducted in areas that were not council owned. A great deal of additional funding was still needed to ensure that the work undertaken was maintained and also to continue with the work that was still needed. Geoff Popple advised the panel that North Lincolnshire did face problems with gaining additional funding due to its demographic makeup and the perception that North Lincolnshire was a rural area, and therefore not a priority area.

Resolved – (a) That the above Officers be thanked for their attendance and informative presentation, and (b) that the position be noted.

(ii) Notes from stakeholder interviews, workshops with members of the public and town and parish councillors – Resolved – That the information be reworked into table format and circulated to all Members prior to the next scheduled meeting.

(iii) Consideration of panel’s conclusions and recommendations – The Chair requested that Members give consideration to potential conclusions and recommendations and submit any thoughts to the Scrutiny officer in attendance. All suggestions would be brought to the next scheduled meeting of the panel for consideration along with the first draft of the report.

Resolved – That the position be noted.

217 (15) LEADER OF THE COUNCIL’S FORWARD PLAN – NOVEMBER 2009 TO FEBRUARY 2010 – The Service Director Legal and Democratic circulated the Leader of North Lincolnshire Council’s Forward Plan for November 2009 to February 2010.

The plan contained details of all matters and issues likely to be the subject of key decisions for a period of the next four months, updated on a monthly basis. Members discussed various items on the Forward Plan.

Resolved – That the Leader of the Council’s Forward Plan for November 2009 to February 2010 be noted.

218 ADDED ITEM – There was no added item for discussion at this meeting.