Please see below sections of the redacted 22/6/2017 RTS Sponsoring Group meeting minutes.
I requested unredacted minutes but my request was refused.
The document is difficult to read due to redactions by the EA . I have deleted what was left of the attendance register but it is interesting because not one RBWM Councillor or Officer attended the meeting in Windsor.
I have highlighted relevant text in red
Page published by Ewan Larcombe 1/5/2021. Please contact me if you require further details
THE MEETING MINUTES START HERE:
River Thames Scheme (Datchet to Teddington) Sponsoring Group
22 June 2017
Thames Suite, Windsor Leisure Centre, Stovell Road, Windsor Minutes of meeting
|Sponsoring Group Members in Attendance
Secretariat: Sian Patrick, Programme Assurance Officer, Environment Agency
|Julia Simpson welcomed all attendees to the meeting, highlighting that it was
Emma Hill and first time attending a Sponsoring Group meeting.
Julia Simpson also added that it was ’ last Sponsoring Group meeting. has made a great contribution both in role as RFCC
chair and to this scheme, providing constructive and supportive challenge, and we all wish well in her next role.
Julia Simpson commented that the main focus of today’s meeting will be on Item 3 the funding update and HMT review point. Therefore she proposed dealing with items 2 and 4 on the agenda via correspondence to allow for more time to focus on Item 3. Everyone agreed that they were happy to do this and Nathan Fahy volunteered to share a presentation which covered the other agenda items alongside the minutes. If there are any comments on the material shared please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Slide pack issued with the minutes, if you have any questions on the content then please contact us on the e mail address above.
Prior to the meeting, partners had been provided with a note outlining the latest interim costs and benefits of the scheme. Within this note, and on recommendation from the Funding and Programme Boards, the partners had been allocated ‘target’ contributions, comprising the remaining funding gap, split proportionately across the LAs according to risk reduction offered.
It was noted that the costs have increased greater than the benefits, and the overall funding gap has therefore grown since submission of the Strategic Outline Business Case. It was noted that work was still on-going to understand the costs and benefits of the scheme and this would be available in time for the second HMT review point.
There was a strong desire and appetite for the scheme to go ahead, but the funding requirements are significant and the LAs felt the apportioned ‘targets’ were not achievable, particularly as RBWM had already indicated they would be unable to commit a contribution at this stage. LAs highlighted that they were hampered by Government restrictions on their borrowing, council and business taxes.
There remain other funding initiatives to be explored, including the setting up of a Community Interest Company. Cllr Hodge is investigating this further.
Cllr Hodge raised their duty of care over their residents.
The partners raised the question around likely and realistic affordability of the option on the table.
The Partners formally requested the project team to investigate alternative, more affordable options for scheme delivery, described as follows;
|– Plan A – Proceed with current proposal, i.e., with ability to close the funding gap.
– Plan B – Phased implementation of the scheme. Under this proposal, the scheme would be designed as currently, but implementation phasing would allow flexibility in delivering some aspects sooner than others.
The Sponsor Group would like to ensure that in presenting at the first HM Treasure checkpoint, the desire to progress the scheme is conveyed, alongside the work to look at the plan B option, should the current plan on the table be found to be unaffordable.
To inform the first HM Treasury checkpoint, the Sponsor Group agreed to support the project team through completing a pro-forma to explain what affordable looks like to them (what could be secured by way of contribution, and what may need to change to allow this to happen). If the total funding gap cannot be bridged, this will show that they have tried everything with written evidence as to the reason why options can’t be pursued.
3.1 Emma Hill to meet with Cllr Williams (Spelthorne) to run through the scheme benefits, operation and funding gap.
3.2 and Nathan Fahy to discuss the information available and
dates when additional information will become available regarding the Tidal Fluvial interaction with Cllr Cunningham (Kingston).
3.3 All Local Authority leads to return pro-formas to indicate the contributions which they have a good degree of confidence in securing, along with the evidence behind this and submit it back to on Wednesday 28th June ahead of the HMT review.
3.4 Project Team to look at phased implementation of the project, as per Plan B above, and to present this at the HM Treasury Checkpoint.
|Please refer to slide pack issued with the minutes.
|Next meeting 17th August at Surrey County Hall
Meeting close 12:40pm