Declarations of interest were duly made. John Martin and John Butt were re-elected as Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively. Standing Orders were approved. The Clerk reported that he was still in discussions with Cambridgeshire County Council and Railway Paths Ltd over the cycleway over the former Railway Bridge 1842 over the Twenty Foot River. He reported that little progress had been made and he had therefore pressed the Council for an early resolution.
The Commissioners discussed the IDB Review at some length and noted the concerns expressed by all of the other IDBs at Defra's proposals for a single sub-catchment board which were considered impractical and unworkable. The Clerk reported on discussions held with Mr Geoff Beel, who had been appointed to conduct a review of the Middle Level area. Mr Beel did not support the Defra proposal and, in view of the changing climate within Flood Risk Management, in the light of the Pitt Review and the proposed Flood and Water Bill, had advised a cautionary approach. He had, however, highlighted the accountability of IDBs under the present system. The Clerk reported that he had written to the local authorities within the Middle Level area following the Pitt Review and had also been in contact with the recently appointed Chairman of the Central Area Regional Flood Defence Committee. The Commissioners noted the resolution of the Middle Level Board in that they approved an approach on the same lines as that suggested for Norfolk and Suffolk IDBs but felt that Defra's views on this needed to be known, before it could be adopted. The Clerk also referred to the publication of the Flood and Water Management Bill, which contained a number of provisions which he felt would adversely affect IDBs. A meeting of affected Chairmen would be called later in the year. The Clerk referred to a change in the position of ADA.
The Clerk reported on draft documentation regarding Financial Regulations and Members' Code of Conduct which were approved.
The Commissioners noted the advice received from Defra on consortium arrangements.
The Commissioners noted the difficulties that had arisen with the Aquatic Plant Management Group but agreed to continue their support in principle and maintain their contribution if appropriate. The precept figure of £971 was noted.
The Clerk reported on progress with the GIS system and referred to the Environmental Officer's newsletter. He reminded the Commissioners of the need to complete a BAP by April 2010 and reported on the steps that were being taken.
Reports were received on the Water Framework Directive, the position regarding Defra grant-in-aid and spoil disposal.
The payments and accounts were approved.
The Commissioners received the Report of their Consulting Engineers and noted that only maintenance works were required for this year. The Commissioners discussed the works on the drain length 15-16. While it was agreed to undertake these works, it was decided to review at the 2010 AGM, whether this length should be retained as a District drain. The Clerk agreed to contact the Environmental Officer regarding a rabbit problem. It was noted that quotations would be obtained for fencing around the pumping station, although the Commissioners felt that this would be the responsibility of the Councy Council. In addition, works were required to install a winch and to replace faulty motor terminal blocks at the pumping station. The Commissioners noted that their District System was generally in good order. The Clerk reported that steps were being taken to obtain outstanding development contributions in connection with the EEDA development at Thorby Avenue. The possibility of re-siting a culvert was discussed. The Commissioners agreed to approach the Environment Agency to seek to have a watercourse within the highland but serving development, maintained. Steps would also be taken to provide assistance to Mr Burr at the pumping station.