Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Apologies For Absence

To receive apologies for absence from the meeting.


No apologies were received.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 159 KB

Confirmation of the Minutes of the meeting held on 09 February 2022.


Chair ran through the minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 9th February 2022 with members.


It was proposed by Councillor Leather, seconded by Councillor Harding and



That the minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 09 February be agreed as a correct record.


(Vote: For 7, Against, 0, Abstentions 1)



Public Participation

15 minute period for public contributions


There were no requests for public participation.



Action List pdf icon PDF 117 KB


Chair reviewed the action list with members and updated on progress.



Declaration Of Interests

Members with interests should refer to the agenda item and describe the nature of their interest when the item is considered.



Members were reminded that declarations of interest should be made as and when the specific agenda item to which they related was under discussion.



Agreement Of Agenda Items Part I and II


There were no Part II items.



Urgent Matters Brought Forward With the Permission Of The Chair


There were no urgent matters.


Consideration Of The Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 179 KB


The Chair deferred discussion of the Forward Plan for 2022-23 until the next Committee, following the AGM on Monday 16 May. It was explained this was in case of a change in membership.



Joint Agenda Item with North Devon District Council - Presentations from Environment Agency & South West Water pdf icon PDF 641 KB

An opportunity to hear from partners from the Environment Agency and South West Water regarding rivers and bathing waters in Torridge and North Devon – specifically in relation to the management and monitoring of water quality in the area.

Additional documents:



Environment Agency

Both Chairs welcomed Dave Trewolla Environment Agency Team Leader Integrated Environment Planning (Devon, Cornwall & The Isles of Scilly)


A detailed and informative presentation was shared with members. An overview of the role of the Environment Agency was provided, which highlighted the legislation that informs their work.


Combined Sewage Outflows (CSOs) and Emergency Overflows (EOs) were explained to members along with an overview of Event Duration Monitoring (EDMs), which monitor storm overflows nationwide.


It was explained to members that site specific cases could not be discussed due to the Environment Agency and OFWAT investigations, which started in November 2021. A link to the investigation was provided to members following this link


The Environment Agency representative highlighted the location and spill frequency map for members. It was explained what would happen if a spill was unpermitted and how the permit system works in terms of management of discharges.


It was confirmed there were 1290 spills into the River Torridge in 12 months of 2021, this was across all of the monitored sites on the provided map.


A map and graph highlighting bathing waters and shellfish standards compliance was explained to members. It was confirmed that currently the Environment Agency operate under the same legislative standards they were when part of the EU.


In relation to wild swimming it was confirmed that anyone was able to follow the process to designate a site, but until the process was underway Environment Agency be responsible for monitoring. 


It was further explained that, without the legislative change, it wasn’t possible to monitor designated bathing sites outside of the bathing season. Though the increasing pressure to extend monitoring was acknowledged due to the increased popularity of wild swimming. A link to the designation process was provided following the meeting - link to guidance on bathing water designation & de-designation.


It was stated that the most recent bathing water classifications were successful in the South West, with all bathing waters meeting the required standards from 2017-21.


The graph for shellfish water compliance was highlighted, which showed this was generally improving.  DEFRA do not publish shellfish water compliance, so members were directed to the relevant plans – River Based Management Plan and Shellfish Water Action Plans - for further reading.


A graph showing overall pollution in local authority areas was then shared with members. The Environment Agency representative highlighted that the predominant problems in the area were linked to diffuse pollution (agricultural, land management and some small sewage work discharges) and point source pollution (predominantly water company, but also industrial discharges and other larger private discharges.)


A breakdown of the agricultural proportion of the pollution was then provided. It was explained that the graph showed that the main issues related to poor livestock management, poor nutrient management, or poor soil management.


The importance of reporting was highlighted to members and the pollution hotline number for the Environment Agency was provided – 0800 807060.


The meeting then moved onto questions from members, and it was agreed that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 137.