New Year Update

Happy New Year.

HVDIG Special Meeting

The Special DIG meeting planned for this month will take place on Thursday 28th January at 7.30pm. This will be held using Zoom, and we have decided that we will restrict attendance to the Committee members only. In part this is because of the quality issues that happen when more than one person speaks at a time, but also in part because of our lack of experience with running such a meeting.

If you would have liked to attend and wanted to offer an opinion on our way forward, or ask a question, contact me and I’ll raise it at the meeting. Nevertheless, we will issue minutes of the meeting and will also ensure that we provide an opportunity to review the points discussed when we have the opportunity to meet together. No doubt we all look forward to the day that it can happen.

Trees Road & Trees Avenue

These unmade-up roads have drainage grills running across the road at its foot and which connect to the road drains. The roads are hilly and susceptible to large levels of water running down during wet weather. Along with this comes stones and debris which block the grills & drains.

A small team of neighbours look after the grill & drain for Trees Avenue, so it is kept pretty clear. Trees Road is more problematic in that there is no team at present and the bottom of the road where it meets Valley Road gets periodically flooded and the drains blocked. Through the Residents Association’s Road Reps, the DIG has established contact with the Trees Ave team and we are now seeking to find one or two volunteers from Trees Rd. The aim is to try and get together a small cohesive group (perhaps linked together through WhatsApp) that can periodically clear the grills.

Affinity Pumping Station

I am just awaiting dates for a site meeting with Affinity to check out the culverts.

DEFRA Project

We have signed up this month to the Bucks CC / DEFRA project, titled:

Innovative Flood Resilience: Developing flood resilience in communities that are at risk of flooding from groundwater

Our involvement will essentially be through attending and contributing to steering group meetings and helping deliver community engagement. Their words, not mine.

This could be very beneficial for the Valley, with potentially the following topics covered:

· Groundwater warning systems: improved network of boreholes and rain gauges and to include innovative measures such as Livelab gully sensors

· Modelling of flood risk in groundwater fed areas across and to capture knowledge and understand better these areas where there are gaps in mapping and data

· Live flood warning system for residents using information from modelling and monitoring system

· Close working with communities through parishes, community boards, flood groups; social media and other innovative data gathering to capture their understanding and needs, taking a bottom-up approach

· Working with communities through engagement officers to raise awareness and readiness for flooding and develop flood wardens/groups for future resilience

· Events to encourage rain gardens, de-paving of driveways and more sustainable drainage within communities · Exploration with communities and landowners around opportunities for Natural Flood Management in the catchments which will help with climate change resilience.

· Researching and developing improved and innovative approaches to individual property flood resilience measures that address groundwater

· Working collaboratively with partners to identify projects which will be mutually beneficial to flooding, climate change and habitat creation to develop and sustain the health and wellbeing resilience of communities.

Valley Rd & Warrendene Rd Road Drains

The road drains (and the new drainage chambers) in Valley Road were meant to be cleaned and jetted following the drainage roadworks in mid-2020. As far as I know it didn’t happen. Since then, drains all along the Valley have become silted up and the leaf fall this winter only made it worse.

We have so far alerted Bucks CC via the ‘Fix My Street’ website, which is totally unsuitable for reporting in a detailed manner. This only seems to elicit a ‘No action Required’ response.

More recently I have asked David Carroll to bring this to the attention of James Tunnard. Nothing seems to be happening. It seems to me there is absolutely no point in getting drainage improvements engineered if then there is no follow-up maintenance to keep the improved drains clear. We need some form of better understanding with the Council to ensure routine preventative maintenance can be periodically carried out and exceptional action happens after heavy storms block drains.