This section of the Somerset Rivers Authority End of Year Report 2016-17 provides an overview of delivery progress by funding source, together with a financial summary.
In March 2016, the SRA Board approved the Enhanced Programme of works to be delivered through the 2016-17 financial year. The Programme included 32 different actions for delivery across the whole of Somerset, covering all SRA Workstreams: W1 – Dredging & River Management, W2 – Land Management, W3 – Urban Water Management, W4 – Resilient Infrastructure, W5 – Building Local Resilience.
Table A (below) shows the overall status of actions as at end of March 2017, by funding source and year.
The pie-chart (also below) shows the amount spent by the SRA from all of its funding sources, split by workstream.
Delivery: By Funding Source
2016-17 SRA Local Partners Funds
Funding available from SRA Local Partners (council tax and contributions from Somerset’s IDBs) in 2016-17 was £2.777m. Thirty-two actions were approved for the SRA Enhanced Programme 2016-17. Eleven were delivered. Five were closed – with their funds reallocated to a new project. Many of these 16 actions are in W1 – Dredging & River Management. Hold-ups were caused by a mixture of procurement delays, environmental considerations, staff resource constraints and alternative funding becoming available. For example, the SRA put £300k towards a major flood alleviation scheme at Cannington. Most of the construction was done by December 2016, but the need for some mains service works prevented the new relief channel being officially before 31 March, 2017. The value of the work yet to be completed amounts to £846 of the £2,328m shown in Table B as Carry Forward to 2017-18. The remaining £1.482m is made up of £760k of work completed in 2016-17, invoices for which were not received from contractors in time for the year end accounts; £654k set aside for the Sowy/King’s Sedgemoor Drain (KSD) enhancements and/or further pioneer dredging, and £68k of staff cost savings and the remaining contingency.
2015-16 SRA Interim Funding and Enhanced Programme Delivery Status
Twelve actions (out of the 23 funded by the SRA’s 2015-16 Interim Funding) were planned for completion in 2016-17. Six of these were completed, including: four local flood risk management measures, previously delayed by the need to resolve problems such as leaks from a privately-owned septic tank; additional dredging of Hixham Rhyne; and re-instatement work on the banks of the Cripps. The remaining six actions are now due to be completed in 2017-18. One of these is the appointment of a Riparian Enabling & Enforcement Officer who is due in post in Summer 2017. Actions scheduled for late 2017 include River Brue tree work, further Mark Yeo dredging, and drainage improvements from Old Cleeve to Blue Anchor Road. Reasons for previous delay included landowner consent and contract preparation matters. Remaining 2015-16 Interim Funding of £608k (see Table B, below, Carry Forward) will cover these outstanding actions, together with a provision of £200k set aside for the key Sowy/KSD Enhancement project, a key project for the SRA.
2014-15 Department of Communities & Local Government Funding (CLG)
Ten of the CLG-funded actions were planned for delivery during 2016-17; four were completed during this year. The other six account for the unspent CLG funding of £167k (see Table B, below) carried forward to 2017-18. Some of these six actions involve community working, which demands a slower pace of delivery than anticipated in 2014. Ongoing actions include SRA funding to further support the Community Resilience in Somerset Partnership (CRiSP) and working with communities to provide grants for equipment and training. Phase 2 of the Community Land Trust activity gained Dream Fund funding, so its allocated CLG funds will instead support Phase 3 during 2017-18.
Heart of the SW Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSWLEP) Growth Deal Funding and Key Projects
During 2016-17, the SRA spent £4.044m out of a total of £13.49m HotSWLEP’s Growth Deal funding, awarded for longer-term project work stretching out to 2020-21. This funded SRA Key Projects, namely pioneer dredging of the River Parrett, Sowy King’s Sedgemoor Drain enhancements, Bridgwater Tidal Barrier and Slow the Flow Natural Flood Management schemes.
Finance: Summary by Funding Source
Table B shows the financial summary for the year, split by funding source. The total funding available in 2016-17 (excluding HotSWLEP Growth Deal Funding) was £5.114m. This figure includes unclaimed funds brought forward from 2015-16 (Interim and CLG). Total funding spent by the SRA in 2016-17 was £6.055m. However, this is not a true reflection of the spend by SRA delivery partners on SRA works, as there is a time lag between the delivery partners receiving their contractor invoices and then raising a claim to the SRA. The total spend by all SRA partners on works in 2016-17 was therefore greater than the £2.011m stated in the Spent column of Table B.
A balance of £3.103m is to be carried forward into 2017-18. Funding requirements have been updated throughout the year by the SRA Board, and surplus funds have been re-allocated to new works which have emerged as delivering greater benefit. This is why in some cases in Table B the amount shown under ‘Carry Forward 2017-18’ varies from the ‘Difference’ figure. For a further explanation of Table B, please refer to the previous paragraphs in ‘Delivery: By Funding Source’.