Elford Village

Village News

Environment Agency Flood advice

There is useful information for residents in this document from the EA  files/downloads/EA_Flooding_Advice.pdf

Flooding Event 16/02/2020 by Dave Hill

There was a moderate flooding event in Elford as storm Dennis hit the country. The problem began with a blockage at the inlet end of the culvert under The Beck forcing water out of the brook course called the Green Brook and onto the road adjacent to No 61 The Beck. This flow gradually increased as less and less water appeared to be flowing though the eastern end of the culvert.

There were signs that water was re-entering the culvert via the gullies once past No 55 The Beck but the flows exceeded the capacity of the first gulley draining the road and water continued to build up. Due to a significant number of blocked gullies particularly on the south side of The Beck the displaced water continued to flow along The Beck and beyond the closed Working Men’s Club. The depth continued to increase as the flows exceeded the capacity of the operational  gullies to return the water from the road to the culvert.

The Environment Agency was notified at about 8.30am and were on site within the hour with a team to assess the blockage problem and engineers to assess the pump situation. The Pumping Station was operational at all times but due to the impeded flow of the water it was unable to run continually without further manual intervention by the EA. The issue related to the inability of displaced storm water to get to the pump. As time passed the flooding situation got significantly worse as a result of an increasing flow on the Green Brook.

At the start of the event the Green Brook was discharging to the river by gravity with the penstock at the PS open. As the event developed the rising river levels dictated that the penstock closed and we were dependent on the pumping capacity of the PS and a support 6” pump that had arrived on site to keep the village clear of flood water from the Green Brook. It was clear that the operation of the PS was impeded by the blocked flow in the culvert and the blocked gullies preventing the water on the road returning to the culvert in sufficient quantity to allow the PS to run efficiently. The PS is difficult to run at the best of times due to its constrained size and depth but with the added restraint to the quantity of feed water it required great skill and sound judgement to keep the pump from switching itself off due to lack of water.  Once the more easily controlled support pump was connected the flooding was slowed significantly but over all flood levels were still increasing very gradually.

An irrigation pump provided by Ben Bridgen was also installed to pump water closer to the PS and then the increase in flooding was stopped and reversed albeit also very slowly. A second 8” support pump arrived on site from the EA depot but was not used. It was retained on site as a precaution but by 6.00pm the flood was clearly under control and falling. The EA staff stayed on site until the late evening some still working at 10.00pm cleaning gullies and tidying up.

As a precaution flood guards had been fitted to the bungalows but in the event were not tested. The situation was under control once the PS and the support pump were in place and operating although if the first support pump had been an 8”pump things may have stabilized earlier. That said we are still very happy with the support we got once again from the EA which was exemplary being both timely and professional. Given the fact that the whole country was under stress, the local roads made moving around difficult and there was significant pressure on resources Elford again was well served by the EA. Thanks also to Ben Bridgen for providing extra pumping capacity a facility also offered back at the last flood event in November 2019. It is good to see a community pull together and use all resources available to it.

As with all events there were lessons to learn and in this case a new and important one related to blockage management on the culvert and the gullies on The Beck. The gullies are far more than just road gullies they are a fundamental part of the mechanism related to successful operation of the Pumping Station once water is above ground and on the road. A review of the lessons learned will be undertaken and the Flood Plan updated and while we did not have to call on the Auxiliary Flood Wardens this time it was good to see them appearing offering help in any case and their company was welcome.

We hope to be getting the Highways people to ensure that all gullies on The Beck are clean and operational in future and we will attempt to ensure that all possibility of future blockages to the culvert are minimised. Thanks go to all involved particularly the EA staff, Ben Bridgen for his irrigation pump and the supervision of it and Gary Delderfield who controlled traffic and was present throughout the event to help as necessary.

We hope that as these events seem to be becoming a more regular feature of our changing weather patterns that we can continue to refine and develop a plan of action to ensure that we are as safe as we can be when these hiccups occur.

Dave Hill

My Staffs App

The link below is for the My Staffs app. It combines a host of services to help you with anything you need for example you can access services from Police, Fire, Ambulance and your Council.

You can register births and report things such as potholes, abandoned vehicles or fly tipping along with much more.

Click the link below to find out more. 

https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/MyStaffs-App/MyStaffs-App.aspx

 

Planning Application for the Social Club

A planning application has been made for the former Sports and Social Club land.

Plans for the building of 8 homes after the demolition of the club building have been submitted to Lichfield District Council under reference 19/01707/FUL. Please see their website to look at the plans and for details of how to comment: https://planning.lichfielddc.gov.uk/online-applications/search.do?action=simple

Amended plans have now been submitted as of end of January. The Parish Council will discuss the application at the next meeting on February 10th and will consider their comments to send to the planning department.

Dog bin relocated

The dog waste bin near the Church has now been moved to near the entrance to the Walled Garden.

Security advice

 

Crime prevention advice from Staffordshire Police:
We’ve recently experienced an increase in keyless vehicle theft across Staffordshire. Thieves are using sophisticated technology to remotely intercept the fob signal allowing them entry and the ability to drive away keyless vehicles without actually possessing the keys.

Signal blocking pouches can be used to protect your keys from remote access, reducing the likelihood of your vehicle being targeted. These are available from many online suppliers as well as high street motoring stores.

For more information on how to keep your vehicle safe from potential thieves visit www.staffordshire.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/theft-of-a-vehicle/vehicle-attracting-thieves

 

Residents should take action to improve home and vehicle security .  PCSO Costa Karpis has advised people to extend their own security to their property boundaries.  For example external motion sensors, which alert home owners when someone is on their property or garden, can be very effective.  Contact Costas on 07890 317765 for more advice or talk to him or his colleague Maggie Griffiths when you see them around the village.

The usual advice of not leaving valuables in vehicles, reversing vans up to garage doors or simply using a steering lock can deter thieves. The idea is not to be an easy target. See the attached for advice on preventing thefts from keyless vehicles. files/Preventing_thefts_from_keyless_vehicles.pdf

If you would like to opt into the new Staffordshire Smart Alert to receive  informative and important messages, including Neighbourhood Watch alerts, please follow the link  https://www.staffordshiresmartalert.co.uk/register  and fill in the details.

 

Hall Garden

The latest Hall Garden newsletter is now available on their website www.elfordhallgarden.org

 

Fitness equipment

The new fitness equipment is ready for residents to use. We hope you enjoy it!

We recommend not using it during sports matches in case of flying balls.

Scarecrow Festival

Scarecrow Festival 2019

The event was held again last year over the 2 days of August Bank Holiday.  We welcomed in excess of 5000 visitors over the very hot and sunny 2 days, which helped us to raise in excess of £24,000!

The majority of the funds were distributed to The Village Hall and St Peter’s Church, with donations also made to Midlands Air Ambulance and Motor Neurone Disease Association.

A gesture was also made to The Police Cadets, whom without their help with parking, the event would have been very difficult to run.   Plus a contribution was made to the PTA of The Howard School who also opened their gates to visitors.    

For the first time, Elford Hall Gardens had active participation in the event and saw record numbers of visitors, all stopping for ice cream which had been arranged by the committee.

It truly was a full village event, and thanks need to be made to many groups, including The Cricket Club for their cooperation in relocating the cricket match which should have been on the Saturday of the event.

This event takes a lot of organisation and we presently have a 50 Page plan demonstrating the extent and organisation of the festival.  We are pleased to report, however, there were no incidences to report of, other than the need of our reliable onsite Paramedic to treat a wasp sting to the Chairman’s ankle on day one….

The event is completely run by volunteers, last year seeing a record high of over 60 to support the event over the 2 days, plus the set-up and clear-up. We thank all who helped make this event, the huge success that it was!    

The Festival is run entirely for good causes; total donations made have reached far more than the organisers could ever have thought possible- in excess of £90,000 since the event started.                                                   

The plan is to hold an event in 2021, after taking 2020 as a year off.

For the latest and up-to-date information about the annual Scarecrow Festival please visit the Scarecrow Festival website at http://elfordscarecrowfestival.uk/