I second the proposal.


The Flood Forum includes representatives of this Council, the Drainage Boards, the Environment Agency and other bodies.


The Flood Forum met on January 2006. At that meeting, Steve Wragge of the EA promised a “Derwent River Catchment Flood Management  Plan”, and the Forum decided not to meet until this was ready.


In June 2007, Pickering was flooded again.


At the July Council meeting, I asked when the Flood Forum was due to meet again, and a meeting was set for 1st August – there having been no meeting of the Forum since January 2006.


 I attended the meeting of 1st August as a Drainage Board representative.

At that meeting Steve Wragge of the EA made a presentation. The relevant points  can be summarised as follows:


  1. For purposes related to flooding, the subject area can be divided  into several categories, which include “High Risk”, “Medium Risk” and “Low Risk”.


  1. The word “risk” in this context does not have its ordinary meaning. A “high risk” area is an area where there is a risk of flooding and a large concentration of population. A “low risk” area may be subject to the same degree of risk of flooding, but has a sparse population.


  1. Malton/Norton, Pickering and Helmsley are the only parts of Ryedale classed as “High Risk” areas. Kirby Moorside is classed as a “Medium Risk” area, bottom and the rest of the low lying parts of Ryedale (including the villages at the of the Vale of Pickering) are classed as “Low Risk”.


  1. The Policy prescribed by the EA is as follows:


    1. For “High Risk” areas, flood protection “assets” will be maintained in good condition, and some improvements might even be made;


    1. For “Low Risk” areas, flood prevention “assets” will only be maintained to a minimum standard; some will not be maintained at all, and others (for example at Rillington) will be abandoned altogether.


The Yorkshire Derwent Catchment Flood Management Plan has now been received. It does not say anything about “high risk” or “low risk” areas, but it does talk about “introducing buffer strips between watercourses”, abandoning some floodbanks, increasing river meanders, creating flood storage, creating wetlands, setting flood banks back etc. – in other words withdrawing from flood management in rural low land areas. It is the realisation of our worst fears.


We have already been told that the Agency’s weed boat has been declared redundant because Ryedale is a “low priority area”. It has been sent to Anglia.


The document says nothing about dredging the rivers.


It provides no details about precisely what is intended.


Ryedale clearly needs the advice of experts on how to respond to this challenge. In the past the EA has dismissed out of hand evidence provided by qualified local engineers. So something more is needed.


I think it is important to understand the level of expertise that is required:


  1. There is a quantity of publicly available data.


  1. On big projects covering whole river catchment or even greater areas, it is impossible to use all the necessary available data in assessing water flows and quantities etc. without using a highly specialist computer programme – they are usually referred to as “computer models”.


  1. What happens is all the data is fed into the model which does all the necessary calculations. The output then has to be analysed and interrogated, before any conclusions are reached.


  1. An ordinary firm of civil engineers will not be familiar with operating or interrogating computer models of this kind, and will not be familiar with the evaluation and analysis of the output data.


We need to engage a civil engineer who can check and advise on all these matters.


This exercise can only be done by a firm which is used to do work of this kind and has the kind of reputation which the EA cannot ignore.


It will be seen that this is a desk exercise, which can be done without extensive site surveys and will not cost too much (quotation of £5,000 three years ago)






As regards car park fees, I refer to Council Minute No. 132 on pp 68-69 of the Agenda. I have spoken to Janet, and she has advised that I may bring up under Resolved Portion (a)(iv) (that businesses be consulted) an amendment to the effect that no change should be made to the Wentworth Street charges until businesses have been consulted and a further report on that consultation has been presented to Council.


As far as I understand there has been n o consultation with business to date, and I am not aware that any such consultation is in the pipeline.


I am concerned that the fee scale for Wentworth Street Car Park will change without any such consultation.


I am also concerned about the consequences of changing the fee scales before the consultation and then making further changes afterwards. It would seem to me that, if there is to be a change, there should only be one change and this  should not be made until after the consultation.


I have also viewed the consultation for the furture development of Malton Town Centre, and have seen the plans for a supermarket/ residential development at Wentworth Street Car Park. I am concerned that these might be premature


If Ryedale District Council is really concerned about listening to and promoting local business in Malton, you will agree with my suggestion. 




Referring to Page 100 Minute No.187 P&R


I realise that there are some ways in which the constitution might be improved.


For example, if a committee has a budget, it should be able to spend that budget without going back to P&R.


So too, if urgent decisions need to be made , there is no reason why there should not be a small urgency committee which can meet on three days notice at any time and make binding delegated decisions.


However, if the working party is thinking of giving committees(other than an urgency committee) the power to make decisions which do not have to be confirmed by full council, I have a serious problem, as this would take away the rights of members at full council to question the recommendations of committees on which they have no seat.


This may be appropriate for large metropolitan councils: it is not appropriate to a small authority like Ryedale. This would not be modernisation: it would be the urbanisation of the constitution. It is anti-democratic, because it takes away members rights.


It will leave Council meetings with very little to do except debate motions on environmental issues.


This is a serious matter. My question is:


Would the chairman advise what steps will be taken to involve members not on the working party in the discussion? Will there be a members’ briefing or special meeting of P&R


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