Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Slad brook campaign update

SNJ story today copied below - Ruscombe Brook Action Group have fully supported the Slad group - indeed helped them a little when they set up - and through the Stroud Valleys Water Forum have tried to get action - the EA's failure to act seriously on all this does seem extraordinary. The floods were in 2007 and 4 years on we still don't have any real actions.

Campaigners 'disappointed and disillusioned' with flood plan's slow progress

CAMPAIGNERS have accused the Environment Agency of making slow progress over plans to address flood risk levels in Stroud. Members of Slad Brook Action Group said they are ‘disappointed and disillusioned’ with the latest findings of the EA’s report into the issue, which has been in the making since the mass floods of 2007.

"I am disappointed that after four years we have not made much progress and people are still at risk of flooding," said group chairman and Green Gloucestershire county councillor Sarah Lunnon. It is a tricky nut to crack but we have to address the problem and find a solution."

She added that the agency’s recommendations seem only to maintain current risk levels, rather than actually improving them.

Secretary Sandy Coulborn, who became involved with the group after friends of hers were affected by the 2007 floods, added: "We are bitterly disappointed and disillusioned. It is not satisfactory and does not reduce the flood risk one bit. The threat of people’s homes being flooded is still immense and that means what happened in 2007 could happen all over again."

The EA’s remit has been to investigate feasible flood alleviation works in the River Frome catchment area, which includes Slad Brook and Painswick Stream.

The knock-on effect of added run-off flowing into Slad Brook is the increased risk of floods further downstream, particularly in Bridgend, near Stonehouse, where a second action group – Bridgend Residents Against River Frome Flooding (BARFF) – has been active since 2008.

A spokesman for the EA said the fact that Slad Brook flows through a narrow, steep-sided valley, coupled with a lack of natural flood plain meant there was no single solution to dealing with the issue.

Instead, it recommends encompassing a range of measures over a longer time scale, including maintenance of watercourses, which in Stroud have been heavily modified over the years, thus increasing flood risks.

Another measure the EA is taking is to offer surveys and flood protection grants to safeguard properties from up to 900mm of flood water.

Cllr Lunnon said she was determined to keep raising the issue with colleagues in Shire Hall and the EA to find a solution. She added that she also plans to work more closely with Stroud town councillors to garner their expertise.

Dave Graham from GCC said the authority was working closely with the EA, Stroud District Council and water management organisation Water 21 to find the best possible solution for properties at risk.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Natural Flood Management paper out

There is just out a new summary of what is meant by "Natural Flood Management" published by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology or POST. It is an excellent guide to the various techniques and their potential effectiveness, plus it contains case studies too. Its quite short and fairly untechnical, so it should be reasonably accessible.

Natural flood management, defined here as the alteration, restoration or  use of landscape features, is being promoted as a novel way of reducing flood risk and fits with what we are arguing for in the Stroud Valleys. This POST note reviews the policy drivers of this approach,  as well as the scientific basis, and implementation, of inland natural  flood management strategies. Download from:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Revisiting our constitution!

Ruscombe Brook Summer 2011
The Stroud Valleys Water Forum is discussing whether to have a constitution and if so what shape that might take. Below is a copy of RBAGs which was on our originally website but seems to have slipped off when we launched this new site so here it is.....


This constitution was adopted on 6th July 2005.

1. The group shall be called the Ruscombe Brook Action Group

2. The aims of the group are to enable our community to maximise the quality and biodiversity of the Ruscombe Brook.

3. To fulfill this aim: (a) undertake an assessment of the problems related to the brook, (b) raise awareness about the issues relating to water quality of the brook, (c) work with others to find ways to improve water quality and reduce flooding, (d) other activities that further the aims or for the benefit of the group, shall be undertaken from time to time as the members see fit.

4. The area served is principally Randwick and Whiteshill and Ruscombe Parishes, but projects and the members may undertake activities elsewhere as seen fit.

5. Membership

- The membership shall be open to anyone interested in the work of the group and pays the membership fee (amended Sept 2009 to 'The membership shall be open to anyone interested in the work of the group and registers as a member with the secretary of the group').

- The treasurer will keep a register of members names and addresses (amended Sept 2009 to 'The treasurer and/or secretary will keep a register of members names and addresses ').

- Membership can be terminated if a member dies, resigns by written notice, fails to pay membership dues or the organisation ceases. A member can also be removed by a resolution at a meeting, if this is in the best interests of the organisation. The resolution can only be passed if the member has been given 21 days notice and the member or their representative has been given the opportunity to make representations to the meeting.

6. The group will hold regular meetings organised by elected officers of the group, to discuss policy and administration of the Ruscombe Brook Action Group. All members shall be entitled to attend, and these meetings will be publicised. An annual general meeting will be held each year and not more than 15 months may elapse between successive annual general meetings. Individuals who are not members of the group can be invited to attend group meetings if their participation is seen as being in line with the group's aims and by agreement from the group. However these 'guests' will not have voting rights.

7. For group meetings to be held a minimum of three group members must be present making the meeting quorate ie having the necessary number of people present to allow decisions to be made.

8. Such officers shall be appointed as are required to conduct the administration of the organisation. These shall include a chair, secretary and treasurer. These officers shall be in charge of the day to day running of the organisation, but shall be answerable to meetings of members.

9. The accounts shall be kept by the treasurer and approved at members’ meetings. Before the Annual General Meeting groups accounts will have to be drawn up in collaboration with the Chair.

10. If the group shall by consent of it’s members, cease to exist, all assets shall pass to the Ruscombe Valley Action Group, and if they have ceased to exist, to the Whiteshill and Ruscombe Parish Council.