On 19 March at Wokingham Borough Council I asked a question at full council to the Lead Member for Environment, Cllr Angus Ross, on what is being done to maintain and improve Southlake. This is always a concern for residents and I wanted to hear a comprehensive overview. I was pleased with the answer and was happy that Cllr Ross said that local residents would be kept up-to-date with progress. I will be following all the developments closely.
Any member of the public can ask a question at council and sometimes this may be preferred if you want to draw the elected councillors attention to a problem or don’t want to play email ping pong. Please note that you need to submit your question to Democratic Services department about 10 days before asking the question.
You can watch the edited clip here: http://www.tubechop.com/watch/5603839
As the sound isn’t great here is a transcript:
What is being done to improve South Lake, specifically the dam?
South Lake is a beautiful amenity for residents to enjoy on their doorstep. As well as grounds maintenance responsibilities, Wokingham Borough Council is also responsible for ensuring the safety of residents through the ongoing and regular maintenance of the dam. Regular inspections plus site engineer visits ensure that appropriate work is carried out in the interests of safety under Section 10 of the 1975 Reservoirs Act. These works are crucial to enable the continuation of regular and thorough monitoring of the site as a whole.
The following works have recently been completed:
* Clearance of small pathways from the bottom to the top of the embankment to maintain a clear access route along the bottom of the embankment. This was to ensure the continuity of regular checks for issues such as animal burrows, seepage, instability or any signs of irregularity
* Health and Safety works carried out to all trees highlighted within a recent tree inspection of the area
In addition, screening from the top of the embankment is a concern for residents who overlook this area. We will therefore be erecting a form of screening which will be permanently attached to the inside of the fence to protect the privacy of residents. We hope this will also prevent planting along the embankment which may impede safety inspections.
In addition and in response to a local petition, we are working with the Southlake Angling Club to trial a form of chalk treatment at Southlake in an attempt to promote the breakdown of sediment and reduce the odour highlighted by residents. This may also incorporate some reed planting at the appropriate time.
We will continue to work closely with residents and local ward members to ensure that we communicate any works on site and are able to continue to fulfil our health and safety obligations.