Agenda item

Ilminster Flooding Update


The Strategic Manager – Somerset County Council introduced himself to the Committee and outlined his role at Somerset County Council.  He explained that the Section 19 Flood Investigation report produced following the extreme weather event in and around Ilminster on 20th October 2021 was being presented to the Committee as part of the consultation process.


The Strategic Manager gave a powerpoint presentation which covered the following areas:


·         What is a Section 19?

·         Section 19 at Somerset County Council

·         Purpose of the report

·         The Event and impacted areas in Ilminster

·         Impacted areas in Sea and Dowlish Ford

·         Ilminster and Sea – Information Gathering

- Integrated Catchment Study completed in 21/22 and awaiting sign off

- 10 November – multi agency meeting held

- Community drop-in event 17th November – multi agency

- Multi agency debrief 29th November

- Working Group established - weekly meetings (now monthly) – led by EA with LLFA attendance

·         Recommendations

- Local Resilience Group and Local Resilience Plan

- Liaison with local landowners

- Potential for NFM schemes

- Education of Riparian Responsibilities

- Modelling to include fluvial and surface water and the interaction between the two

- Auditing of gulley clearing regime

·         Next Steps

- Finalise consultation and publish S19

- Continue to develop Ilminster Flood Action Plan with Town Council and EA

- Liaise with stakeholders on delivering recommendations incl. funding

- Work with EA on Integrated Catchment Study

·         Comments and feedback on the draft S19 report required by Friday 18th November


During the discussion, various comments were made by members which included the following:


·         What actions had been taken forward following the Section 19 report produced in 2017? There were still issues with the bund around the park homes and gulley clearing. 

·         There was a lack of faith in the actions being taken forward. 

·         It was likely that significant engineering works were required to address a lot of the problems.  Positive action needed to happen as time was of the essence as a similar event could happen again soon.

·         The Lead Local Flood Authority should be liaising with stakeholders and riparian land owners.

·         Cllr. Sue Osborne was a member of the Ilminster Flooding Group and had recently attended a meeting.  The SSDC Scrutiny Task and Finish Group would be providing comments on the S19 report.

·         When would the results of the bid for a Feasibility Study be known?

·         Assurances were sought that the bund would be investigated and that funding would be released to carry out maintenance.

·         The reason for flooding in Horton in 2012 was due to unattended gullies.  The Action Plan should maximise the existing drainage channels.  Liaising with town and parish councils was suggested as they were more aware of issues.  A request was made for monthly updates on what work is intended and the work being undertaken.

·         As a result of the flooding in Chard and Ilminster local communities have come together to look after themselves and have done a lot of work that needs to be done in preparation for any future flooding.


The Strategic Manager responded to members comments and queries.  Responses given included the following:


·         He would provide a written response on the recommendations taken forward following the Section 19 report produced in 2017.

·         Maintenance and responsibility of the bund around the park homes site was part of the investigation being undertaken by the Action Group

·         Major schemes and structures did take time to come to fruition and were costly to implement.  Partnership working with the Somerset Rivers Authority and the Environment Agency was important in seeking additional funding.

·         Resource and capacity were an issue.  Raprian engagement was incumbent on the LFA to ensure that the information was gathered.  SRA funding had been secured for a Raparian Responsibility Officer but unfortunately this had not worked out.  He assured members that it would be taken forward.

·         The two bids for FDGI funding had been submitted.

·         An announcement on the Frequent and Flooded Homes Allowance was expected imminently.

·         He would take the comments regarding gulley clearance back to the Highway Authority.


At the conclusion of the item, members agreed the recommendations of the report.




That the Committee noted and provided comment upon the draft Section 19 investigation report into the flooding in and around the Ilminster area during October 2021.  In particular Members noted:-

a.  The recommendations as set out on page 47; and

b.  That South Somerset District Council will continue to provide support to the LLFA regarding on-going investigations and any associated actions not mentioned above.



That the public are encouraged to comment on the draft Section 19 report directly to by Friday 18th November 2022.


Supporting documents: