Photo: Henry Cator, Thérèse Coffey MP and Ian Warsap surveying the Carr Dyke near Dunsby
It was a pleasure to see our Minister, Thérèse Coffey MP, out and about over the summer and taking the time to visit Black Sluice IDB and the historic Carr Dyke which is one of the EA/IDB de-maining pilot projects. The Minister saw just how the local IDB and EA teams are working so well together to think about the future of drainage, water level and flood risk management. My thanks and appreciation also go to Henry who took a brief pause in his holiday to attend the visit and brief the Minister about the work taking place about the future of water resources in the East of England through the Water Resources East group.
I have also been back down to Somerset to discuss ways forward with the reconstitution of the Somerset Group of IDBs towards operating with a smaller number of people on the Board. With Nick Stevens, we were welcomed by Doug Bamsey to Sedgemoor District Council to update them on the latest thinking. Given that they are the largest provider of appointed members to the Somerset Board, I was very pleased by the support they gave to the planned way forward to reduce the Board size and, with wide support, ADA continues to strongly advocate this type of reconstitution. Let’s keep the momentum going on this and ADA will help in whatever way it can to get the best result as quickly as possible.
The growing season is not all about ripening harvests but unfortunately brings the subject of invasive species to the fore with weed and plant growth where it is not welcome. We do have a situation on our hands where things have come to a head and traditional treatments are no longer available or permitted. Sadly, we don’t have a suitable replacement strategy currently in place, other than mechanical removal which has its own many drawbacks. All types of watercourse are affected to lesser or greater degrees so it affects us all and could start to impact on our more environmentally sensitive areas and sites if we don’t act now. There is therefore an increased urgency for research and development on alternative methods of dealing with invasive species and I call on that research to be moved up the priority ladder in the coming months, with ADA ready to help through its Technical & Environmental Committee working group.
On a lighter note, we are starting to bring together the workings of the 80th Anniversary ADA Conference on 16th November 2017. That has prompted a rummage in the ADA archives at Stoneleigh Park and we have started to unearth various documents going right back to copies of the proceedings of our very first conferences. I was delighted to see that two of the Executive Committee back in 1937 are related to one of our current ADA Board members, Duncan Worth. Here are the names of the original Committee back in 1937, so if you recognise any of them, let me know as I would be delighted to receive a bit of background about as many of them as possible.
Mr Hector Buchanan (Chair) Mr Reginald C Treadgold (Hon Sec)
Mr R G Clark Mr S P C Done
Mr D C R Dare Mr A W Cowling
Mr T D Harris Mr W A Howitt
Mr A E Jackson Mr H L Samson
Mr A C L Thomas Mr A H Worth
As well as having a great line-up of speakers including the very welcome return of Thérèse Coffey MP, the Conference will also be Henry’s last before handing over the Chair’s reigns, so make sure you book you place now to avoid disappointment !
My batteries have been recharged after an excellent break and I hope that you are all full of energy and optimism as we head into the autumn and continue to shout about and shape our industry, ready for the opportunities as they present themselves. The work we do is vitally important for people, the economy and our environment and with you all, I am proud to be a small part of that public service.