Flood recovery update report

Cabinet members will be updated on the progress of work to recover from the serious flooding of November 2019 and the steps taken since to protect our borough when they meet on Wednesday 19 May.

The 2019 floods directly affected 100 properties and 11 businesses and caused significant disruption and distress to many more local people. As a result a number of high risk locations were identified and plans were put in place to improve future flood mitigation. 

The report to be presented to Cabinet reassures members and residents that we’ve been working at regional and national levels to raise the profile of the extra funding needed to protect the most vulnerable communities in Barnsley and across South Yorkshire. As a council we’ve continued improving and investing in the areas most at risk to flooding despite the continuing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last summer 70 properties in Lundwood were visited to check that flood defences installed at the properties were still working properly and to identify any works needed.

All highways gullies in the area have been inspected and maintained. In October 2020, Yorkshire Water completed maintenance to a 500m of a local drainage ditch removing over 50 tonnes of debris, improving water flow.

After working with an independent environmental consultancy agency to carry out a flood threat assessment, proposals were drawn up for a number of solutions with final options are now being reviewed.

The £1m Lundwood Flood Alleviation Scheme has been identified as one of the 9 regional accelerator programmes put forward by Sheffield City Region and has been allocated £150,000 to progress the development of the scheme.

At Low Valley, The Danvm Drainage Commissioners Internal Drainage Board (IDB), carried out £100,000 works along the length of Bulling Dike. Discussions with colleagues at the Environment Agency are continuing regarding the maintenance of the bank strengthening measures on the River Dove and also previous studies for flood defences to assess if any further measures are required.

Final preparations are also being made to make repairs to the reservoir spillway at Worsbrough Mill and Country Park, although the timing of these works is being planned carefully with the Environment Agency’s fisheries team to minimise the impact on fish stocks and breeding activity.

The early stages of a culvert replacement programme are underway, and a £1m enhanced highway maintenance programme began last year to repair and improve drainage. This programme has been very successful with 5,200 problem locations to be investigated. So far a significant number of non-operational gullies have been restored to working order and a further 230 schemes have been completed to improve resilience across the drainage network.

Cllr Chris Lamb, Cabinet Spokesperson for Environment and Transport, said: “Our response to the COVID 19 pandemic has undoubtedly caused some delay to our flood recovery activities,  however a  significant amount has been achieved.

“I’d like to reassure everyone that improving our borough’s resilience to significant flood events remains a priority and I’d like to thank everyone who has been working so hard on this area for us all, from the front line teams out clearing gullies, to those staff, both council and other partners, working hard on the finer detail and on securing significant external funding to support the flood resilience work we need.“

You can read the full cabinet report on our website.

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