December Update

A note from the Acting Chairman.

There seems to have been a lot happening of late, and this will get you bang up to date with what’s been happening.

Joining the HVRA

This is still planned to go ahead, but I shan’t be able to get anything underway until the New Year. At that point I will call a Zoom meeting for us to get together and decide things. As you know, we will invite Peter Cannon, HVRA Chair to become the Chairman of HVDIG too.

He has already taken a strong level of interest in our little group. Matt and I took Peter on a walk at the end of November to take him round the lower end of Hughenden Valley and introduce him to the risk areas that are prone to stream, surface water and sewage escapes.

Since then, I have made a start at the HVRA monthly meetings providing an update on our activities. In addition to getting our message more widely known, this does have the effect of people bringing action requests our way. One of these was from Peter himself who requested that we do what we could to get the road drains cleaned and jetted. Debs Lemon raised this hairy chestnut through the Fix My Street website; as yet no activity, but the leaf fall has really resulted in these drains being blocked.

For when we integrate with HVRA, we need to get some ideas of what we want to achieve. Do we keep calling ourselves HVDIG for instance, or do we become HVRA Drainage Improvement Group. To save money, we should move our web site over into the HVRA website. Do we reduce it down to something much smaller, perhaps to just 2-3 pages? I am not sure if the Blog is really worth doing as I think probably only a few people read it. If we integrate the web sites, it would be possible to use Facebook to publish our news – Hughenden has a Facebook group with a large number of members. If you get a chance let me know your thoughts.

Meeting with Jonathan Roberts TfB engineer

Debs and I met with Jonathan Roberts recently. Debs organised this following completion of the road drainage works and resurfacing in Valley Road. We discussed the issue that surface water emanating from further up Valley Road can sweep down and then up on the pavement on the London side of Valley Road at the bottom of Coombe Lane (Just by the green BT Box).  

This area of the pavement has a dropped kerb (for crossing the road to the village hall). This means for the moment, the pavement flooding which has blighted us for a long time continues. A possible solution for this is to install a grill across the dropped kerb which will capture surface water and channel it into the nearby road drain. We will discuss things further in the New Year.

Affinity Pumping Station

I recently approached Affinity Water to see whether they could clean and jet the culverts that run under the pumping station. My first few telephone calls only resulted in being told that it was a sewage issue and I needed to talk with Thames Water. After walking down to the pumping station I found that a faded sign on the wall of the building give a site no (263) and a telephone number to ring in emergency. After ringing that I was able to make contact with the Affinity Estates Dept, who look after the site. I’ve update the Advice page so we can easily make contact next time around. We wait to see if they do the work……

BRAVA Workshop

I contacted Darren Trenchard of Thames Water recently to ask a question about boreholes and stream flooding. He was very helpful and pointed me to a flooding website. The day after, the DIG received an invite from him to take part in a BRAVA workshop, which is an initial part of their DWMP. Pretty scary eh? What this turned out to be was a Baseline Risk & Vulnerability Assessment, a first stage in the building of TW’s Drainage and Wastewater Management Plan.

TW invited us to provide local knowledge on the flood risks in Hughenden Valley, as the meeting would seek to discuss areas in South Bucks like ours that have flooding issues. Prior to the meeting I developed a document mapping and describing our risks, I’ve attached this so you can take a peek.

Matt Hopkins and I attended this workshop this week; a large online session attended mostly by Thames Water, Bucks CC and Environment Agency professionals. TW talked about building their future sewage system for future decades and wanted local knowledge so that present issues are fully taken care of. Over a dozen risk areas were listed to be discussed but only a few were covered and with time running out, we were very fortunate in that Darren invited us to talk about Hughenden. I provided an introduction to the stream, surface water and sewage escapes we suffer from and Matt then followed up with more detail and a description of some of the technical aspects.

The important thing that came out of this meeting is that HVDIG will now be included in future stages of the development process in building the sewage system of the future. Can’t wait!

We’ve sent a copy of our risks document to Karen Fisher, Lead Flood Management Office for Bucks CC; she was in the meeting.

DEFRA Project

Matt has been contacted by Jed Ramsay, new Lead Flood Program Management Officer at Bucks CC. He is involved with a DEFRA project involving monitoring and reporting on groundwater flooding and has asked if the DIG might consider becoming involved as a partner. More detail will be provided in due course. For the moment the DIG has expressed interest.