Monday, November 23, 2009

Revisioning RBAG!

Last week we had our monthly Ruscombe Brook Action Group meeting. After some discussion about what are priorities are we agreed the following:

Photo: Puckshole - photo from a year ago when we cleaned it out - see here - now needing attention again!

1. Works at Puckshole (phases I, II and III) - phase one is going ahead (see below) - phase two is tackling a water pipe that is damaging the brook and up for discussion in January. Phase three looking further at attenuation is on hold at the moment.

2. Severn Trent sewer works. A lengthy discussion on the huge progress since our first meeting some 4 years ago - we drafted a letter to seek an update on their plans as we have still seen little evidence of capital works going ahead.

3. Wider community involvement in the group and the brook - like involving schools again - our latest project is our water saving tips list which is ready to go out.

4. The Ruscombe Brook water standard - this is on hold.

5. Wider catchment issues and the Stroud Valleys Water Forum - we fed back from the recent Water Forum group - see details of the meeting before that here.

Puckshole drama

For those who don't know for some years we have sought measures to reduce the flooding at Puckshole. The flooding continues to damage the road and in the past has flooded cars and cut off a small group of houses. We were delighted to get some funds from Stroud District Council to clear the culvert and put in a grill as part of our initial efforts. Then a couple of weeks ago the contractor got on site and found part of the culvert collapsed - the work was stopped and no funds available to restart.

Philip Booth contacted various people and others also wrote and we are now delighted to learn that the District has managed to locate another source of funding to enable the culvert under the access road to be replaced - and the headwall/screen can be constructed as originally intended. A start date possibly even this month - well done to Stroud District for coming up trumps on this one.

It should be noted that in funding the replacement culvert, the Council is not accepting any riparian responsibilities for ownership or maintenance of the culvert in the future as it is seen that this should lie with the owners of the access track. All this sounds so simple but behind the scenes it has meant yet more talks with the Environment Agency, the contractors, residents and lots more.

On a positive note, the culvert has already been carefully cleaned by "365 Environmental Ltd" and a CCTV record made of the culvert condition. The survey shows the "oil drum" culvert through the builders yard to be intact and of a good circular shape. Flow through this section is also good. The survey did show that there were two sections where the metal drum had rusted and fallen away from the concrete surround, but the concrete left behind is still supporting itself.

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