Hampton Ward Newsletter June 2017
When I was elected to the Council in 2015, I was appointed to various committees and outside bodies, including the River Lugg Internal Drainage Board. I knew nothing about this organisation, or what they did. So, if you’re still with me here, please read on as you may find it interesting.
An Internal Drainage Board (IDB) is a local public authority that manages water levels. They are an integral part of managing flood risk and land drainage in England and Wales. They manage drainage districts in areas of special need which are determined by the local hydrology, not by political or county boundaries.
An IDBs’ primary role is to manage water levels and reduce the risk from flooding within their district. Much of the work involves the maintenance and improvement of watercourses and related infrastructure such as pumping stations, weirs, sluices, culverts and embankments.
Under the Land Drainage Act, the IDB exercises a general power of supervision over all matters relating to water level management with its district. Anyone who wishes to construct or alter a bridge, a weir a culvert or an embankment, must first obtain permission from the IDB, before undertaking any work.
IDBs’ also have a series of by-laws relating to the management of watercourses and can designate features and structures within the district that relate to a flood risk. This will prevent an owner of a structure from altering, removing or replacing the structure, without the consent of the IDB. They also advise the Local Planning Authority with regard to planning applications with the IDBs area and will advise and facilitate the drainage of new developments, to help reduce the risk of flooding in the future.
With over 50k farms within IDB districts in England, they are a key component of maintaining the security of the food supply in the UK and with some 600k people living or working within IDB boundaries, including 880k properties – domestic and commercial, they play a key role in reducing the flood risk to these communities.
The expenditure for the essential work carried out by IDBs’ is met via the drainage rates levied on agricultural land occupiers and by other special charges paid by district and unitary authorities on behalf of non-agricultural land occupiers within the district. IDBs’ can also seek funding for major capital works through a Flood Defence Grant from the Treasury or voluntary funds.
Further information can be found at the ADA’s web site: www.ada.org.uk
Cllr Bruce Baker