Monday, February 1, 2010

Requesting an update from Severn Trent

RBAG have seen significant improvements to local sewers by Severn Trent in the area but communication seems to have got poor over the last year or so - possibly changes in staff but we are now writing to have another meeting - 4 years since our last formal meeting but of course we have had many phone calls and mini-meetings along the way.

Photo: Ruscombe valley

We are now hoping they can make the next Water Forum meeting - here's the letter we've just written...

I'm writing on behalf of the Ruscombe Brook Action Group (RBAG) from Stroud in Gloucestershire and the Stroud Valleys Water Forum, a new group made up of several local Action Groups. We are seeking a meeting with Severn Trent on 10th March, at 7.30 pm in the Council offices at Ebley Mill Stroud to update us on your plans for the Stroud Valleys. I hope that you will be able to pass this letter to appropriate others in Severn Trent who could also attend.

There are several issues we would welcome discussing:

1. Ruscombe Valley: At our last meeting between Severn Trent and RBAG in 2006 the following were cited as the main contributors to sewage pollution in the brook: a) blockages caused by roots entering the pipe, or b) the consented overflow at Puckshole, c) hydraulic problems
associated with the design of pipe crossing. We are aware of considerable efforts in the Ruscombe Valley by Severn Trent in root-cutting and to assess the extent of the problems. We are also aware sewage incidents have significantly reduced to only one or two each year. We have been told by contractors at the site on several occasions that capacity issues have been identified in the sewers and have been told that there are plans to replace or reline some sections.

We would welcome an official update re what you have found and plan.
You may know that we've recently had success with Stroud District Council who have completed significant improvement works to the Puckshole/Acres End culvert. However we are looking at further flood alleviation measures at that site and would welcome sharing our thoughts on that. You may also know that RBAG have continued to work with community groups to raise awareness around water although have long ago issued all the leaflets that Severn Trent kindly funded for RBAG.

2. Slad Valley: we would welcome an update on the extensive measures being undertaken re sewage pipes and flood alleviation.

3. Other plans for Five Valleys: we would welcome any news you have re other issues. In particular as a group of local volunteers we are well placed to aid communication with the local community and are keen to encourage responsible water use. We would therefore also welcome thoughts you may have on this.

The Stroud Valleys Water Forum meeting will have about 15 representatives from the Ruscombe, Bridgend, Painswick and Slad action Groups and possibly several other interested individuals. We have already had meetings with the EA, GCC, SDC and had support from local councillors and David Drew MP who chaired our last meeting. One of the key challenges we are trying to address is the flooding downstream at Bridgend: to that end we are seeking for agencies to develop a full catchment strategy. We therefore are supportive of moves towards more attenuation in the valleys.

In order to move forward on the above points we'd be delighted if a representative of Severn Trent Water could join us for a meeting of the Stroud Valleys Water Forum on 10th March, at 7.30pm in Ebley Mill Stroud. I'd be grateful if you could let me know by 12th February at the latest if anyone will be available to attend.

Yours sincerely,
Joseph Bottrill Ruscombe Brook Action Group and Stroud Valleys Water Forum, Stroud, Gloucestershire

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