Representatives of Southern Water to be present to address any queries and concerns raised by parish councils in advance of the meeting.
The representative of Southern Water (Jean-Paul Collett – Operations Manager) addressed the concerns raised by parish councils in advance of the meeting.
Maintenance and cleaning of the A25 sewer (Sevenoaks Road) to avoid flooding and odour.
(raised by Borough Green Parish Council)
Southern Water confirmed that funding had been secured to progress improvement works and it was anticipated that these would start in April 2020. Work to improve resilience and address ongoing drainage and infrastructure problems at the pumping station had also been agreed. CCTV surveys to identify any areas of remedial work were ongoing and a plan of action would be considered in due course.
Borough Green and Platt Parish Councils indicated that flooding remained a significant risk to residents and there was a need for better education around what could be disposed of and better monitoring of gullies. It was noted that these had been cleaned in the last few weeks using funding initially earmarked for Brexit planning.
East Peckham also expressed concern regarding cleaning of gullies and advised that a number of properties had recently been flooded. These details would be shared with Southern Water for further investigation.
Finally, it was reiterated that Southern Water were committed to mitigating the causes and effects of flooding and the plan was to completely replace the Victorian sewer. However, no timescale was known at the current time and it was recognised that the site had many challenges.
Responsibility for fire hydrants
(raised by Offham Parish Council)
Clarification was being sought on this question although it was believed that this was the responsibility of Kent Fire and Rescue Services. When the answer was confirmed this would be circulated to parish councils for information.
Would Southern Water have sufficient water resources to supply all the new homes planned to be built in Kent between now and 2031. Were there any plans to have additional reservoirs
(Raised by the Kent Association of Local Councils – Tonbridge and Malling)
The Water Resources Management Plan (WRMP) considered water supply needs to 2070, taking account of local council proposed housing growth numbers (from local plans) as well as other factors such as climate change. In Kent the most significant new strategic water resources scheme being proposed was a water reuse scheme at Aylesford to support the abstraction from the River Medway. This was needed by 2027-28. The updated WRMP went through a public consultation process in 2018 and should be published later this year once permission was granted by DEFRA.
Reference was also made to a Stakeholder Workshop on Friday 28 June in Maidstone and parish/town councils were welcome to attend. Full details would be circulated as soon as possible.
A further question was raised by Snodland Town Council in relation to the Guaranteed Standards Scheme and what (if any) financial compensation was available in recognition of sewer flooding. Details of this Scheme would be circulated as soon as possible and attached to the Minutes for information. However, information was available from OFWAT