The Middle Level Commissioners are a statutory corporation created under the Middle Level Acts 1810-74, Middle Level Act 2018 and operating also under the Land Drainage Act 1991, the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 and the Nene Navigation Act 1753.
The Commissioners’ primary functions comprise the provision of flood defence and water level management to the Middle Level area, and as navigation authority for the navigable waters of the Middle Level system. The Commissioners have also certain conservation duties to fulfil when undertaking their functions.
The Middle Level Commissioners consist of representatives from both the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors. Occupiers of agricultural property receive a rate demand direct from the Commissioners.
The “rates” on non-agricultural properties, such as houses and factories, are paid through a special levy issued to the District Councils within the Commissioners’ area. These Councils, Fenland DC, Huntingdonshire DC and the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk are, therefore, able to appoint representatives as Commissioners in respect of the payment made in relation to these properties.
The Middle Level Commissioners are responsible for 120 miles of major watercourses, 100 miles of which are statutory navigations.
All of the Middle Level area is dependent on artificial pumped drainage to evacuate excess rainfall.
The link below opens a PDF brochure describing the responsibilities and work of the Middle Level Commsioners:
For a plan of the Middle Level area and all it’s Internal Drainage Board areas, click the links below:
Video credit: Jay Wingfield
Water Level Management organisations such as the IDBs and the Middle Level Commissioners play a very important role in sustaining our economy, by helping industry and farmers produce the goods and food we need and by helping to keep transport networks connected. This document, produced by ADA, details just how important our role is.
The links below open PDF documents published by the Association of Drainage Authorities (ADA) which aim to raise public awareness of the role IDBs and the wide range of functions provided by IDBs.
- An Introduction to Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs)
- A Vision for Internal Drainage Boards In England and Wales
Why are IDBs so important to the UK? Below is a poster from ADA to help promote the importance of IDBs.