Minutes of South Chilterns Catchment Partnership Steering Group Meeting
Held at Environment Agency, Red Kite House, Wallingford
Thursday 20th September 2018
|Alison Love (AL)
||Catchment Coordinator, Environment Agency
||Fisheries, Biodiversity & Geomorphology, Environment Agency;
||Chilterns Chalk Streams Project
||Pang Valley Flood Forum
||Revive the Wye/ Little Marlow Lakes
|Russell Frost (RCF)
||Catchment Host, Foundation for Water Research
Apologies were received from Charlotte Elliott of Natural England, Kay Lacey of Pang Valley Flood Forum, John Shaw of Chiltern Rangers, Jo Clark of the University of Reading, Dave Wales of Thames Fishery Consultative, and George Crowe of Royal Yachting Association.
- Welcome and introductions
RCF welcomed the participants, who included Rebecca Elliott of Thames Water, substituting for Claudia Innes on maternity leave. Introductions were made.
- Minutes of the previous meeting
Two corrections to the draft minutes of the meeting held on 01 May were noted. The corrected minutes will be placed on the catchment partnership website.
- Matters arising
The only matter arising from the previous meeting concerned the development of a vision statement, dealt with in agenda item 4.
- Catchment Partnership Purpose and Objectives
Two options for a statement of Catchment Partnership Purpose were tabled. After discussion, a revised version of option B was adopted as a formal statement of purpose:
It was also agreed that the partnership’s purpose needs to sit within a hierarchy:
- To work collaboratively towards improving the quality of all aspects of the water environment within the South Chilterns Catchment Area, consistent with Government objectives.
- To provide a forum for sharing knowledge and best practice to further the wider interests of the Partnership’s members in water related activities.
- To add value to the planning and delivery of actions initiated by Catchment Partnership members, supporting and facilitating as required.
Vision for the South Chilterns catchment, taking account of the ‘noble causes’ introduced by Ali
Action Plan to deliver against the objectives.
Purpose of the South Chilterns Catchment Partnership
Objectives of the South Chilterns Catchment Partnership – based on those tabled at the meeting
- RCF to draft a revised vision (simple but strong), agreed purpose with explanatory footnotes for easy understanding by the general public, objectives, and action plan. Circulate to those members present at the meeting, for their review and comment.
- Significant Water Management Issues (SWMI)
A short review of the SWMI affecting the water bodies in the catchment, according to the EA’s Catchment Data Explorer, was tabled for discussion. Physical modification, point source pollution, flow (low flows resulting from abstraction), diffuse source pollution (rural and or urban), and invasive non-native species were identified as affecting the catchment. It was agreed that flooding (not a cause for a water body not achieving ‘good status’) should be added as a catchment-specific issue.
Physical modification was identified as a SWMI on the Pang, and invasive non-native species on Ewelme stream.
- Partners to identify to AL within two weeks (i) any other SWMI that affects the catchment and (ii) SWMI-water body impacts not captured by the Catchment data Explorer.
- Stakeholder engagement
One of the objectives for the catchment partnership is to develop a stakeholder engagement plan whose implementation should provide input to the EA’s revision of the River Basin management Plan for the Thames River Basin District. It was agreed that this plan be developed in stages:
- Getting information out to stakeholders e.g. through newsletters, catchment conference, Steering Group members, river user groups, Tweeting etc.
- Engage with stakeholders.
- Provide feedback information to the EA.
- AL and RCF to meet with Mike Overall to develop a road map for the approach: 10.00 a.m. Thursday 18 October at BBOWT premises at Woolly Firs or the FWR at Marlow.
- Standing agenda items
It was agreed that future meetings should have standing agenda items. This works well in other catchment partnerships, keeping salient issues in focus. To be developed for the next meeting.
- Any Other Business
Lesley Sproat introduced the Wye Restoration Strategy initiative, which engendered much lively discussion. The Wye was floated as a suitable candidate for a ‘noble cause’.
Brian Connorton raised some points regarding the Pang with Rebecca Elliott, to be addressed subsequently. Lesly Sproat urged that work on the Pang be widened beyond flooding, Allen Beechey offered capacity building support.
RCF informed that he would be joining the field studies working group of the LANDWISE research project.
- Date and location of next meeting
The next steering group meeting will be held on Tuesday 11 December at Red Kite House, time to be announced.
R C Frost