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Agenda item

Public Questions and Petitions

To receive any questions or petitions from members of the public

Minutes:

5.1

Adrian Milward raised the following questions regarding the Flood Protection Programme:-

 

 

 

(a)       Given the technical complexity of the design and lifetime operation of flood defences:-

 

 

 

(i)          Does the Committee intend to ensure that they receive expert independent advice, for example, following the national model of creating a Specialist Advisory Group?

 

(ii)        Given this project is being presented as a ‘National Pilot for the National Flood Resilience Review’, what independent evaluation is the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) undertaking, and how is this being reported to this Committee?

 

(iii)       Given that funding will impact on the chosen solutions, how is the work of the new DEFRA ‘Finance from Economic Value” created expert group being reported to this Committee?

 

(iv)       How are all local Members of Parliament, some of whom sit on the Government Select Committee, reviewing flooding policy, being informed and involved?

 

 

 

(b)       The proposals describe a wide range of strategic objectives for the scheme.  Given the Environment Agency funding, described at the consultation stage, only considers one parameter (reduction in properties flooded or risk category reduced):-

 

 

 

(i)          How are the value of the other Council objectives, such as environmental, habitat, amenity, etc, to be evaluated and quantified in reaching a transparent and auditable evaluation of options so this Committee can be clear on what is being proposed is the best option?

 

(ii)        Given this is also a ‘national pilot for self-funding’, what freedoms have the team asked from DEFRA, for example in terms of ‘having to complete the work to fit in with the Environment Agency funding period’, that is all works completed by 2021?

 

(iii)       How is the work of the new DEFRA, focused on new defences financed from the proceeds of economic value, going to be applied to the Sheffield proposals of using areas of urban parkland, such as Rivelin Valley or Endcliffe Park?  Does use of the different funding mechanism alter the type of defences and the timetable for implementation?

 

 

 

(c)        Given the scale, technical complexity, importance of the works, the national profile, the complex partnership working arrangements at local and national level, the new finance arrangements to be trialled, is this Committee satisfied that the Council has yet been able to assemble a team with the right resources and capacity to lead on this project?

 

 

5.2

Ian Kassell stated that he had already informed Arup and Partners that he owned land at Morland Lane, which currently got flooded several times a year, and questioned whether the Council would consider the land as an alternative to the proposed flood alleviation barrier, in an ancient woodland currently proposed in Totley.  He also requested that he, and other land owners affected, could be kept updated in terms of the progress of the scheme.

 

 

5.3

Trevor Bagshaw requested assurances from the Council that all interested agencies, organisations or individuals be fully engaged in terms of the proposals. 

 

 

5.4

The Chair stated that the above questions would be referred to relevant Council officers, with a request that they provide a written response.