The first steering Committee meeting held on Friday, was kindly chaired by Damian Coliins MP, attended by Mike Angel KCC Member. Richard Woodcock Environmental Officer at ABC, myself as the Borough Councillor, Joel Hufford and his team from Southern Water, and a number of residents from BGR.
Key points :
– All affected households who qualify, are having surface water charges reimbursed backdated up to a maximum 12 years,.
– In addition those affected will receive a one off payment of £200 per household as recompense for some of the challenges faced.
This does show how seriously Southern are taking this, and we were assured by Joel Hufford, that BGR is on the radar at the highest level within Southern Water – so this is good news going forward.
– I terms of the Long term solution, SW had originally said they needed at least a year to research and cost this. I am delighted that the good work that has been ongoing since November, has meant that tests are currently being carried out on a solution
– A decision of what solution will be most appropriate, will be delivered in June 2015, with a view to works commencement in early 2016.
Additionally, on Friday afternoon, Katie Lewis, The Chief Drainage & Flood Officer , who was unable to attend the meeting, visited BGR and with residents and myself, inspected in detail the drainage provision made by KCC.
-Katie has agreed accelerate the cleaning programme for BGR drains and to carry out a new full survey of the complete road.
-Katie will also provide us with a detailed plan of where all the drains are and how they interlink with SW. Highways and SW are working closely on this, and I am more than confident that both parties appreciate now how best to approach this in order to arrive at a positive outcome.
– The drains in BGR will now be put on a 6 month cleaning cycle, replacing the current 2 year plan.
– enclosed also an update on works recently carried out.
– Katie has asked if we could provide details of what challenges each home has with their surface water- 1.e – the nature of the problem and when it arrises- I would ask therefore, that all residents make a note of the particular characteristics and behaviour of the problems as and when they occur, together with their house name, postcode, contact details, and send this on to me so I can collate this for Katy and KCC. Each home has individual challenges, and having this will help to better understand and source the solution.
SW did request that all residents work with them on the point of permitting access to properties to survey and /or carry out works. Since this is a sewage and drainage issue, homes that currently do not have a problem, may be joined to piping or waterways that need to be reviewed in order to solve the issues, where the problem point is not on their land. If any resident has concerns about this, they are welcome to get in touch with me or Joel Hufford or Ryan Lownds from SW.
I would like to thank Katy, Richard, Joel and his team, Mike, Damian and Drew and all the residents, who have put in a lot of time and effort to get this far. With regard to the Village Hall, thanks must also go to Kevin, who has agreed twice now to move his dance class, in order to accommodate us all and to Mark and Nigel who do make a good cuppa!