Category Archives: HVRA

DIG Article for HNews Winter Issue

Pumping Station Ditches and Culverts

During September Jerry Morley and Paul Woodford met with Chris King of Affinity in connection with the drainage issue we have at the pumping station at Hughenden Valley. Chris is a Surveyor with responsibilities for maintenance of infrastructure at Affinity properties.

Chris has agreed to organise a complete site survey at the pumping station, which will involve CCTV checks and, if appropriate, clearance on the two principal culverts under the site which carry the Hughenden stream. It will also involve checking boundaries and cutting back of trees and hedges which have become overgrown.

As a group the DIG are not convinced that these two culverts have sufficient capacity to keep the stream flowing properly when it is in spate. We have seen at least one instance in the last few years of the water in the Valley Road ditch coming right up to the top and threatening to flood onto the road. A simple solution would be for TfB to continue the ditch right along in front of the pumping station so that it could then empty round the perimeter fence of the site into the National Trust field.

Sewer Works in the Valley

One of the biggest problems with the Hughenden Valley sewage system is the ingress of water into the system that typically happens over the winter period. This is common in the country and happens with old infrastructure.

Fractures in pipes and inspection pit brickwork allow ground water to enter the system, whilst road surface water can enter through leaky inspection pit covers. Thames Water have stated in the past that under normal conditions, the sewers in our area run at about 40% of capacity. During a wet winter we know from bitter experience this can exceed 100%, causing spillages.

In the last issue of the magazine, we mentioned that Thames Water was carrying out work on sealing the covers to the sewage inspection pits along Warrendene. Further work was done in the same area in relation to the possible re-lining of the sewer.

This work was of an investigatory nature and Thames Water are seeking to identify leaky areas in our sewage system so that a reactive leak reduction plan can be implemented.

Interestingly, the re-lining of sewage pipes is an established process which can have a major benefit to leaky sewers. Effectively, it is a structural ‘No-Dig’ repair which creates a new pipe within a damaged sewer. A resin impregnated liner is inverted into a defective pipe, it is then pressurised and then cured to form a new pipe. We hope this work comes to pass.

Paul Woodford

An update from Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire Council

Dear Resident,

I hope that you have all had a good summer and as we head into winter, I thought I should again update you on some key developments in Buckinghamshire.

Covid update

Whilst most of us have seen life return to something approaching ‘normal’ over the past few months it is important to remember that Covid has not gone way and remains a threat to many in our county. You may have seen in the news that Covid infection rates are rising again nationally. This is also true in Buckinghamshire. Here we now have an infection rate of 699 per 100,000 population. This compares to just 440 a few weeks ago.

It is important to stress that infection rates are not the same as serious illness. Infection rates reflect the number of people being tested and also will include many people who do not display any symptoms at all. More than half of Covid infections in Bucks are either school age children or live with school age children. With our national vaccine programme, it is also more likely that anyone catching Covid will not suffer severe effects. Nevertheless, the trend is concerning and we are seeing more cases amongst older aged people who may be more vulnerable to serious illness. This is especially true if they have not been fully vaccinated.

The current Covid-19 figures for Buckinghamshire can be found here:

https://covid-dashboard.buckinghamshire.gov.uk

A concern is that rising Covid cases, when combined with a greater likelihood of catching the winter flu, the need for the NHS to catch up with the large backlog of operations and treatments delayed due to Covid, and higher numbers of people attending Accident and Emergency departments is already putting pressure on our NHS hospitals in Buckinghamshire. None of us want to go back into more restrictions unnecessarily. I am therefore urging all of us to take the basic sensible precautions that will reduce the likelihood of this being necessary.

I would strongly encourage you to:

  • Be vaccinated if you’re eligible. This is so important.
  • Have the booster vaccination as soon as you’re eligible. You will be invited by the NHS to book an appointment.
  • Have your winter flu jab if you’re eligible.
  • Wear a face mask on public transport and when asked to by shops and in crowded enclosed spaces.
  • Self-isolate and book a PCR test if you have symptoms.
  • Keep rooms ventilated if you’re meeting with others inside.

The council has been working hard with other organisations to help keep Buckinghamshire safe. This has included working with the NHS to set up more local vaccine clinics, sending mobile testing vans into our communities and supporting the vaccine roll out for 12-15 year olds in secondary schools. We have come a long way since the difficult lockdown days earlier this year. Let’s keep working together to keep each other safe.


Support for the vulnerable

Our Helping Hand team are available to help individuals or families in need, those on low incomes and those who are experiencing a financial emergency or crisis.

Whether you get in contact by phone or the online form, we will ask you a few questions about your situation so that we can offer the best support or advice.

Help with food and food costs – If you are struggling to afford food, our Helping Hand team can make referrals on your behalf to a local food bank.

You can also use the Buckinghamshire Online Directory to find organisations in your area who can help you with food. Many of these organisations are providing food and meals during the school holidays.

Help with household bills –If you are unable to pay your energy costs and are struggling to keep your home warm, please contact us.

We can discuss the options available to you and help you apply for grants from third party organisations. We may also be able to help with any other essential bills.

Help with essential items for your home –Please contact us if you need help with essential furniture. We can explore the best support for you.

Some external charities can help with essential furniture if you are on a low income:

Get in touch –let us know if:

  • you are struggling to afford food
  • you cannot keep on top of your bills
  • you are in debt
  • you are struggling to pay for essential goods in your home

To request support from the Helping Hand team either use our online form or phone 01296 531151.

Our phone lines are open Monday to Thursday 9am to 5:30pm and Friday 9am to 5pm.

In an emergency, our out-of-hours team can be contacted on 0800 999 7677.


Food collections

In the Chiltern and Wycombe areas we are still collecting food waste as general rubbish.

This is because of a national shortage of HGV drivers and a small number of Covid-related cases meaning crews have had to self-isolate in line with government guidelines.

This is just an interim measure and means that residents in Chiltern and Wycombe should dispose of their food waste together with their general rubbish (in the black bin). Brown food caddies will still be emptied if presented on general rubbish week only, but this waste will not be recycled during this time. General rubbish will still be collected every two weeks. Collections in the rest of the county are unaffected.

We will let you know when the situation changes.


Mental health support

The free Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire 24/7 mental health helpline for adults and young people has supported more than 2,000 people since the start of the pandemic.

Contact the helpline anytime if you are worried about your mental health or that of a loved one via 111 online or by phone.

Lastly, please keep an eye on elderly or frail friends or neighbours as we go into the winter months. Vulnerable people may be afraid or too proud to ask for help but it takes so little to enquire if they are all right or need any assistance.


Martin Tett

Leader of Buckinghamshire Council

DIG Report End September 2021

The transition of HVDIG into the HVRA is now complete. The final part was the closing down of the DIG email addresses, which means that we can now fully close down the old HVDIG website and email system run through TSOHOST. Email addresses for the DIG committee are now:

Peter Cannon: chairman@hughendenresidents.org

Paul Woodford: treasurer@hughendenresidents.org

Matt Hopkins: digdeputychair@hughendenresidents.org

Debs Lemon: digdeputysecretary@hughendenresidents.org

Sarah Mustapha: digsecretary@hughendenresidents.org

During September Jerry Morley and Paul Woodford met with Chris King of Affinity in connection with the drainage issue we have at the pumping station at Hughenden Valley. Chris is a Surveyor with responsibilities for maintenance of infrastructure at Affinity properties.

Chris has agreed to organise a complete site survey at the pumping station, which will involve CCTV checks and, if appropriate, clearance on the two principal culverts under the site which carry the Hughenden stream. It will also involve checking boundaries and cutting back of trees and hedges which have become overgrown.

As a group the DIG are not convinced that these two culverts have sufficient capacity to keep the stream flowing properly when it is in spate. We have seen at least one instance in the last few years of the water in the Valley Road ditch coming right up to the top and threatening to flood onto the road. A simple solution would be for TfB to continue the ditch right along in front of the pumping station so that it could then empty round the perimeter fence of the site into the National Trust field.

Paul Woodford

Hughenden News

Hughenden News, the magazine of the Hughenden Valley Residents Association, is distributed across Hughenden Valley, Bryants Bottom & Cryers Hill. We are preparing the winter 2021 edition. Contributions are invited from societies, clubs, groups, & individuals. Subject matter can be reports on past events, plans for the future (a bit of a challenge but give it a go!) or issues that concern you. A photograph always helps.

Please send copy to magazine@hughendenresidents.org

Our deadline is 15th October.

Thank you

DIG Report End July 2021

DIG AGM

The DIG AGM was held during July. The main points were that the accounts for 2020/2021 were audited and signed off by Bob Hawkins, the bank accounts is now closed and funds transferred to HVRA. In addition, the new constitution was approved and officers agreed to continue.

Drainage Issues

Trees Rd suffered from a heavy day’s rain with the road grills overflowing and a large amount of puddling at the foot. The Trees Rd team cleared the grills a day or two after.

We reviewed this with Jonathan Roberts the drainage engineer from Bucks CC. He will consider possible additional work, such as joining the grill soakaways to the road drains pipeage. Also he will look at the road surface & edging blocks at the foot of Trees Rd. This will not be priority work.

The DIG team also met with Jonathan to look at the drainage issue that we have at the corner of Boss Lane by the Hopkins field gate and which can lead to flooding of Boss Lane. There is an issue of drainage pipe sizing here plus some other problems. We have not been successful in making progress. Jonathan agreed to conduct some research  into historical survey data and also to look at possible solutions to our problem.

Paul Woodford

Drainage Works in the Valley

Thames Water are currently carrying out drainage works up in Warrendene Road for a serious amount of work. We understand that the sewage inspection pits in the road are being re-rendered around the tops and the lids will then be sealed.

The purpose of this is to prevent the entry of surface water into the sewage system, which contributes significantly to the overloading of the system in Hughenden Valley.

We understand this work will be carried out over several weeks and go right down Valley Road as well as Warrendene. There may be disruption to road users as parts of the sewage system in upper Valley Road run along the centre of the road.

DIG Report End April 2021

Sewer Status

Just when we all assumed that the sewer problems in the Valley had gone away, we found out that they haven’t. After the recent dry weather, inspection pit levels had pretty much returned to normal levels and it was largely assumed that the problems had gone away.

However, late in the month it was discovered that the ‘back of houses’ sewer run that is opposite the Village Hall was full and close to overflowing.  The Boss Lane sewer, which it joins, is also dangerously full. TW have visited a few times, but other than pumping out one resident’s inspection pit, have simply checked levels and advised there is little they can do. We keep monitoring.

Ditch Clearance

On the 10th April, the day of the Village litter pick, a small group of volunteers gathered by the pumping station for a general clear-up of the ditches and culverts there.

The culverting where the stream runs under Valley Road was in much need of clearance of leaves, twigs and assorted rubbish.

Fortunately the ditch along towards the Village Hall was in better shape, although the ditch itself is quite deep and difficult to access. Having said that, a couple of hours work has left the area in much better shape. It’s something that we plan to do regularly from now on, perhaps two or three times a year.

Road Drains

After pestering Transport for Bucks via the FixMyStreet website, we have at last had some serious work done on the road drains through the Valley from Church Farm up to the end of Warrendene Road. Hopefully they are all in good order now.

DIG Website

The HVDIG website is no longer being updated. Although still there, the Home page and Blog advise that the web site is no longer being updated and to go to http://www.hughendenresidents.org/dig. 

Paul Woodford

3 May 2021