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Operational flood working groups

Wiltshire council has set up two Operational Flood Working Groups, one in the north and the other in the south of county.

The groups operate under strict terms of reference and are chaired by Councillor Jonathon Seed who is the portfolio holder for flooding.

The groups mirror the river catchment areas operated by the Environment Agency and are a forum for stakeholders with interests in:

  • Highways surface water
  • Surface water run off
  • Drainage and flooding to consider the issues relating to flooding and drainage within their respective catchment areas

Stakeholders include:

  • Wessex Water
  • Thames Water
  • Highways Agency
  • Network Rail
  • Environment Agency

These issues cover such items as:

  • Identifying lead authorities for each issue to enable better more focused, efficient and coordinated response, enabling resources and funding to be targeted effectively
  • To make recommendations for bids to fund major projects
  • To consider proposals for prioritising funding and programming of schemes
  • To implement government legislation on drainage and flood management
  • To comply with legal requirements to map our surface water and establish collaborative information with our partners
  • To respond to community area boards in respect of flooding and drainage issues
  • To communicate with members of the public regarding the work we are doing via the Wiltshire Magazine and parish newsletter

Initial requests for assistance from the public will be assessed by staff from the divisional highways offices. If they cannot be dealt with locally they will be referred to the drainage engineers. The weather and drainage manager will prioritise schemes in accordance with the following criteria,

Flooding affectingObjectiveResponse
PeopleProtect life 
HousesProtect life and dwellings
Flood alleviation equipment
Commercial propertyProject property
Protect critical utilities infrastructure
RoadsProtect life, dwellings and essential access to main roads
Road closures, diversions and flood alleviation equipment
Gardens/Agricultural Land
NoneNo action taken
Date Time Group


11 March 2020

9.30am - 1pm South

City Hall Salisbury
Alamein Suite

15 April 2020

9.30am - 1pm North

Trowbridge Rugby Club
BA14 6JB

13 May 2020

9.30am - 1pm South

Bulford Village Hall
Watergate Lane

17 June 2020

9.30am - 1pm North

Devizes Corn Exchange
Wessex Room
SN10 1HS

15 July 2020 9.30am - 1pm South

Chitterne Village Hall
BA12 0LS

Town and parish councils wishing to attend the meeting are to advise the secretary of the group nicola.mundy@wiltshire.gov.uk of their attendance and issues they would like discussed.


You can read the notes of the latest Operational Flood Working Group meetings in the download section.
The meetings alternate monthly between the north and south of the county.


Latest Environment Agency South West Water report.

Environment agency monthly situation report


Wiltshire council often approaches landowners to request them to clear overgrown and blocked ditches and watercourses where there is a risk of flooding. There is an extensive network of watercourses and ditches in the county it has been found that parish and town councils have in many cases been successfully able to provide valuable assistance in identifying and helping to resolve these issues including working with us to help reduce the risk of flooding in their communities.

As part of the partnership working initiative we have asked parish and town councils to become more involved in the early stages of this process and using your local knowledge and contacts to make the initial informal approaches to landowners to undertake clearance of their ditch or watercourse.

The suggested approach is set out below:

An informal approach by (telephone or email) from a parish or town council representative is made asking a landowner to clear ditches and watercourses.

If there is no action by the landowner the first letter can be sent requesting action.

If the clearance is still not undertaken a second letter can be sent to the landowners.

Should you encounter any problems don't hesitate to contact the council’s drainage team who can then prioritise any further action as appropriate. If necessary then may also instruct the council’s legal team should any formal legal action be necessary or arrange for a referral to the Environment Agency where a watercourse is a main river.

If you would like to discuss this matter further or require any additional information please do not hesitate to contact Renate Malton, Project Officer on 01225 712514 (mobile 07827 954856) or by email renate.malton@wiltshire.gov.uk


Lead Local Flood Authorities are required, under Section 21 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, to establish and maintain:

(a) A register of structures or features which, in the opinion of the authority, are likely to have a significant effect on a flood risk in its area, and

(b) A record of information about each of those structures or features, including information about ownership and state of repair.

The Act goes on to state that ‘the lead local flood authority must arrange for the register to be available for inspection at all reasonable times’.

Wiltshire council has chosen to use a web-based system that will be accessible to the public. Through the course of our work on flood investigations and local flood risk assessments we are collecting data on structures and features which are likely to have a significant effect on flood risk within Wiltshire. Examples may include flood defences, bridges, culverts, drainage ditches and embankments. They can be natural or man-made.

We record relevant information about each asset, including its ownership and condition, and why it is significant to local flood risk.This site is still under construction and will be updated periodically as we become aware of further significant assets.

The latest available Asset Register can be found in the download section below.



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Last updated: 27 February 2020 | Last reviewed: 27 February 2020