Somerset Rivers Authority Board decisions 5 March 2021

A summary of what happened at the Somerset Rivers Authority (SRA) Board meeting on 5 March 2021. Not every item on the agenda is covered. Only items that required decisions to be taken are featured below.

Item 3: Minutes of the SRA Board meeting on 11 December 2020

It was agreed that the minutes of the SRA Board Meeting held on 11 December 2020 should be signed as accurate.

Following a discussion about developments concerning the subject of riparian responsibilities, the Board agreed that the SRA should write to the Law Commission to support its proposed review of the subject.

Item 6: Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Constitution

As recommended, SRA Board members agreed to suggested updates and changes and to sign the SRA’s 2021-22 MoU and Constitution with electronic signatures, although Chair Cllr David Hall noted that he could not sign on behalf of Somerset County Council until after its Cabinet meeting on 17 March 2021.

Item 7: Heart of the SW Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) funded projects

As recommended, the SRA Board agreed to note:

  • That 31 March 2021 was the original deadline for the completion of LEP Growth Deal Funded projects.
  • How the SRA had used its Growth Deal funding from the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership.
  • That it was forecast that by 31 March 2021 91% of the LEP Growth Deal allocation would be fully claimed and that agreement was secured from the LEP to carry over the final 9% for use in 2021-22.

Item 8: Quarter 2 2020-21 Finance Report

As recommended, the SRA Board noted the financial performance at the end of Quarter Three of 2020-21 and approved the re-allocation of funds to and from contingency.

Item 9: Sowy-King’s Sedgemoor Drain (KSD) Enhancements Scheme

As recommended, the SRA Board:

  • Noted that the forecast final cost of building environmental mitigation structures is below the budget allocated for this work.
  • Agreed that the allocated budget for the main channel construction contract should be raised from £1.5 million to £2.5 million to cover expected costs and the necessary contingency.
  • Noted that construction of the Dunball Smoothing project will be scheduled for 2022-23, pending full Board approval.

Item 10a: 2021-22 Enhanced Programme and Budget

As recommended, the SRA Board:

  • Approved the proposed 2021-22 SRA Enhanced Programme.
  • Recognised the importance of securing the full amount of local match funding to guarantee delivery of the Bridgwater Tidal Barrier and confirmed that the SRA Board supported the principle of providing further contributions in future years.

Item 10b: To review and approve the 2021-22 SRA budget

As recommended, the SRA Board approved the proposed SRA 2021-22 Budget.

Item 12: Any Other Business (AOB)

The SRA Board agreed that Somerset Rivers Authority should submit written responses to two current national consultations: Local factors in managing flood and coastal erosion risk and property flood resilience: call for evidence, and Amendments to the Flood Re scheme.

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