Culverts and Rivers in Cynon Valley the responsibility of Natural Resources Wales?
On the 4 March 2020, because of the recent flooding, I emailed Natural Resources Wales
and requested under the Freedom of Information Culverts and Rivers the responsibility of Natural Resources Wales.
I was getting little response having written to NRW several times consequentially I contacted the Information Commissioner's Office who on the 9 September gave NRW 10 days to respond, NRW did not respond within 10 days I contacted ICO again to be informed they had telephoned NRW and asked them directly to respond.
I also contacted Neil McEvoy 24 September about the delay he also contacted NRW and sent me a copy of his email.
There are some things that are confusing in NRW response but you can make your own mind up about that.
Data Protection Officer
Natural Resources Wales
4th March 2020
Ref: Culverts and Rivers the responsibility of Natural Resources Wales
Under the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations please can you supply the following information?
1 How many culverts in Cynon Valley is Natural Resources Wales responsible for?
2 Please can you provide locations of Culverts Natural Resources Wales responsible for in Cynon Valley?
3 Please can you provide dates when culverts in Cynon Valley belonging to Natural Resources Wales were cleaned for years 2019 2020?
4 Please supply records of work Natural Resources Wales has done on the River Cynon 2019 2020 from Aberdare to Mountain Ash?
5 Please can you supply records of work Natural Resources Wales has done on the River Dare 2019 2020?
6 Please can you supply records of work Natural Resources Wales has done on the River Aman 2019 2020?
YOUR REQUEST FOR INFORMATION: Culverts and Rivers the responsibility of NRW
I am writing in respect of your request for information (ATI-19117a) dated 5th March 2020 (and further clarification received 2nd April 2020) under the provisions of the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) (2004).
You requested NRW to provide you with
1. “How many culverts in Cynon Valley is Natural Resources Wales responsible for?
Flood Risk Assets
Natural Resources Wales is not responsible for any culverts in the Cynon Valley. This is because responsibility for any culvert rests with the owner of the structure. For example, a culvert under a highway, is the responsibility of the relevant highway authority. A culvert under a piece of land is the responsibility of the (riparian) landowner.
Under the Water Resources Act 1991, Natural Resources Wales has permissive powers to undertake work to manage flood risk. We predominantly use these powers to build, operate and maintain our flood defence schemes, but we can and do use these powers to remove blockages and undertake channel maintenance to manage flood risk.
Our predecessor organisation, Environment Agency Wales, was involved in the refurbishment of the River Dare Culvert at Aberdare Town Centre which runs from the Aberdare Library to Duke Street. We do not own the structure, but were involved in repair works in collaboration with Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council in 2006 to maintain the structural integrity of the culvert to enable it to convey flows through the town.
Forestry operations South East
The map below shows each woodland block within the Cynon valley (some of the woodlands are only partially within the Cynon Valley constituency boundary.) There are 10 culverts in this boundary.
Two main culverts were replaced as part of forest operation planning in the summer of 2020 -
Nant hir Penmoelallt – SN 9936 0779
Nant y Maes Cwm Cadlen SN 9950 1123
The smaller culverts were serviced/cleaned at the same time as the replacements but there are not records of location and number. We have not found any records of the total number of culverts or locations of each.
The culverts that are highlighted on the map attached below are culverts that are along main forests roads internally to parts of the forest blocks of Glyncastle, Blaenrhondda and Ystradfernol forest blocks), that are within Cynon Valley constituency boundary.
These roads are purely internal to the forest and do not impact on anything outside of the forests. They also form part of the PYC (Pen y Cymoedd) infrastructure (main access routes, spur roads etc internally to the forests). There are several parties that would undertake maintenance on these as a matter of course (periodically when required and observed on site).
Please can you provide locations of Culverts Natural Resources Wales responsible for in Cynon Valley?
Please see response above.
Please can you provide dates when culverts in Cynon Valley belonging to Natural Resources Wales were cleaned for years 2019 2020?
Please see response to Q1.
Please supply records of work Natural Resources Wales has done on the River Cynon 2019 2020 from Aberdare to Mountain Ash?
We (NRW) have not delivered any flood schemes on the River Cynon in this period.
Please can you supply records of work Natural Resources Wales has done on the River Dare 2019 2020?
Information not held. NRW has no records of undertaking any planned maintenance on either of these main rivers in the last 18 months*. All current work on this river is reactive.
Please can you supply records of work Natural Resources Wales has done on the River Aman 2019 2020?”
Please see response above.
*This is as of March 2020. Given the time it has taken me to respond to your request; I have resubmitted this part of your request to the team for an updated view of any work that may have been done since March.
I will forward any new information to you as soon as it is received.