Agenda and minutes

Contact: Simon Cann 

No. Item

Welcome and apologies

Voting Members present


Councillor Elissa Swinglehurst           Herefordshire Council

Merry Albright (MA)                            Herefordshire Construction Industry Lobby

Mark Averill (MA)                                Herefordshire Council

Cllr Jackie Charlton                            Powys Council

Helen Dale                                          Countryside Landowners Association

Simon Evans                                      The Wye and Usk Foundation

Jenny Grubb                                       Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

Georgie Hyde                                     National Farmers Union

David Lee (DL)                                    Natural Resources Wales (for Ann Weedy)

Clare Dinnis                                        Environment Agency (for Martin Quine)

Claire Minett                                        Natural England

Councillor Sid Phelps (SP)                 Forest of Dean District Council

Martin Williams (MW)                         Farm Herefordshire

Jamie Audsley                                    Herefordshire Wildlife Trust

Tom Johnstone                                   Bannau Brycheiniog (not mandated to vote)



Changes to membership

To agree and record any changes to the Nutrient Management Board membership.


Jennifer Grubb has taken over from Fergus O’Brien as a member of the board, representing D?r Cymru/Welsh Water.



Minutes and matters arising from last time pdf icon PDF 327 KB

Approval of the minutes and updates on actions and recommendations from the meeting of 21 December 2022.



Led by: Chair


  1. The minutes of the previous meeting, dated 21 December 2022, were approved subject to minor corrections.
  2. Actions from the previous meeting were reviewed, including:
    1. The request for board members to propose ideas for securing funding for the development of a phosphate calculator. Martin Quine from the Environment Agency (EA) provided an update, indicating that the EA is actively working on phosphate loss and collaborating with partners from Herefordshire Council and other stakeholders. Further updates are expected in the October meeting.
    2. An update on the protocols in place when pollution from another source impacts a target in a different country or county. Claire Minett from Natural England clarified that there is a statutory duty for consultation between Natural England and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) when such impacts occur. Claire highlighted the importance of these consultations in addressing downstream effects.
    3. Martin Quine to provide details about whether 93 compliance assessments were conducted before or after a drought, with an update expected in the report, to provide an update on Project TARA, including relevant regulations and waste classification details. It was explained that this update would be presented in the October meeting as the project is ongoing.
    4. The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) was assigned to draft a proposal for cases where partners and working groups exhaust their avenues and seek collective action from the board. No specific proposals were brought forth in this meeting.

                                               i.     A discussion on whether Welsh Water investment program funding could be used not only for river improvement and pollution reduction but also for phosphate mitigation. Hayley Fleming from Natural England noted that this discussion is still pending. Hayley Fleming and TAG were tasked with updating the plan, with this being discussed in Item 5 of the agenda.

  1. The board planned to create a ready-made bid database, which may be integrated into the Wye Catchment Partnership website, according to Simon Evans' suggestion.




Public questions pdf icon PDF 608 KB

To provide the opportunity for members of the public to ask questions of the statutory partners.


HOW TO SUBMIT QUESTIONS: The deadline for the submission of questions for this meeting is 9.30 am on Friday 7 July 2023. Questions must be submitted to Questions sent to any other address may not be accepted. Accepted questions and the responses will be published as a supplement to the agenda papers prior to the meeting.


Supplementary questions can be submitted via email to by 08:30 am on 12 July. A supplementary question must arise directly out of the original question or the reply given. The chairperson may, at their discretion, allow you to put one supplementary question to the board during the meeting (if you are attending in person).




Led by: All


Responses were taken as tabled the following:


1.     It was asked how the TAG or NMB were going to raise the resourcing and commitment to the various working groups.

a.     It was noted that this would form part of a wider governance discussion which was on the agenda.

  1. An update was asked regarding the poultry working group.
  1. Simon Evans provided an update on the poultry working group's activities within the Wye Agri supply chain which includes suppliers, buyers, and supermarkets. It has generated actions in terms of seeking clarification on legal requirements around permitted sites which are being developed by statutory bodies and is being shared with the suppliers. There is a visiting programme which is being developed to ensure that these are being followed.
  2. Rachael Joy mentioned the Wye Agri partnership group, which operates under Chatham House principles whilst it is developing its plan and has intentions to publish once commercial issues are worked through.
  1. It was asked who had been appointed as citizen science coordinator.
  1. Andrew McRobb confirmed his role as citizen science coordinator.
  1. A supplementary question inquired about whether there is recognition that water abstraction is a problem and if it is being addressed.
  1. Martin Quine responded that the Harris review is under the purview of the Environment Agency's legal team, and they will review it based on received advice. He further explained that the discussion around the current water resources regime in the Wye Catchment, including who extracts water and its potential impact on the river's conservation status, has been ongoing for the past 18 months to 2 years. This process includes the introduction of new authorizations for previously exempt activities.
  1. A supplementary question inquired about the status of advisory roles and the significant disparity in the number of advisors between the English and Welsh sides of the border.
  1. Rachael Joy clarified that the board requires statutory roles and professional advice due to the complex nature of the issues it deals with, which often span multiple organizations. She explained that it's up to each organization to determine the necessary resources. Additionally, she mentioned that Welsh colleagues are actively working to increase their support for the board.
  1. Rachael Joy noted a late response from Monmouthshire Council regarding Question 11, to be included in the minutes.

The response from Monmouthshire is as follows: phosphorous sensitive Special Area of Conservation (SAC) catchment area (like the Wye) in accordance with the latest guidance available from NRW. NRW's current advice can be found here: planning-and-development/our-role-in-planning-and-development/advice-toplanning-authorities-for-planning-applications-affecting-phosphorus-sensitive-riverspecial-areas-of-conservation/?lang=en).


Planning applications for development, including intensive poultry units, which are not 'screened out' against the above NRW guidance will be subject to an Appropriate Assessment so that the phosphorous impact of a proposed development on water quality can be considered. The guidance requires development proposals to demonstrate neutrality or betterment in terms of phosphate levels. If adverse effects on the integrity of the SAC from the proposal cannot be ruled out through the Appropriate Assessment process (taking into account any proposed mitigation measures) then this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.


Update on activity since last meeting pdf icon PDF 431 KB

To receive updates on activity from Nutrient Management Board members (papers to follow where applicable):


-        Herefordshire Council/ Cabinet Commission (background information available Cabinet Commission Conclusions and Cabinet Commission Public Update)

-        SOS Visit and Update on Defra Group

-        Natural England

-        Informal NMB meeting of 26 April 2023

-        Nutrient Management Plan Revision

-        Environment Agency

-        TAG



Led by: All

Additional documents:


  1. The key updates from Nutrient Management Board members included:
  1. The Cabinet Commission on which Herefordshire had reported in March.
  2. Environment Agency developing the Wye Engagement HQ webpage.
  3. Natural England regarding relative stability on the phosphate in the Wye over the past ten years.
  4. Natural England - downgrading of conditions designation, only applies to England.
  5. Herefordshire had been successful in an approach with Welsh Government as the accountable body for NMB and has secured £40,000 to part fund a permanent person to undertake support to the TAG for this year.



Reshaping the board and future strategy pdf icon PDF 638 KB

NOTE: Motion from the agencies to go into closed session


To consider the governance, structure and next steps for the Nutrient Management Board.

Led by: All

Additional documents:


  1. Rachael Joy raised a point of order and indicated that should the board decide upon an independent chair, which would likely be an open and transparent public appointment, that she might potentially wish to be a candidate and would not therefore participate or advise on that part of the debate.
  2. A motion to discuss the governance, structure, and future direction of the Nutrient Management Board privately was passed.
  3. Due to technological issues and lack of time, the Chair requested that the session be rescheduled for July 25, 2023, as a private session.




For the Board to discuss any other business.


  1. No additional items were raised for discussion.



Date of next meeting

11 October 2023, 2-4pm


  1. The next meeting is scheduled for 11 October 2023, from 2-4 pm.