Agenda and minutes

Contact: Henry Merricks-Murgatroyd 

Link: Watch this meeting live on the Herefordshire Council Youtube Channel

No. Item

Welcome and apologies

The Chair welcomed attendees to the meeting.


Minutes and matters arising from last time pdf icon PDF 204 KB

Approval of the minutes and updates on actions and recommendations from the meeting of 12 July 2023.

Led by: Chair


The minutes of the previous meeting, dated 12 July 2023, were approved.



Public questions

To provide the opportunity to 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 6 October 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 11 October. A supplementary question must arise directly out of the original question or the reply given. 


Led by: All


  1. It was asked how consultation will work between the Nutrient Management Board and the Executive Statutory Group (name TBC).
    1. It was noted that this issue would form part of the wider discussion on the River Wye governance proposals under item 5 of the meeting agenda.



Update on activity since last meeting pdf icon PDF 375 KB

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


Led by: All

Additional documents:


The key updates from Nutrient Management Board members included:


  1. The Environment Agency:
    1. A link was provided to the Engagement HQ website which is currently going through a development phase with a dashboard to make the webpage more accessible.
    2. Work continues as part of Project TARA which covers new approaches that are being trialled for agriculture and involves the auditing of manure that is produced from poultry units and digestate from AD plants and tracking that through from production to end-use.
    3. The development of the diffuse water pollution plan which will form part of a wider review of the Nutrient Management Plan.
  2. Natural Resources Wales:
    1. The SAC Rivers Project continues to run across Wales which tackles all of the failing SAC rivers in Wales, including the River Wye.
    2. Sondes have been deployed on the Wye in Summer 2023 and the intention is to understand what chlorophyll levels are in the river. This year’s sonde data from the Wye shows less evidence of algal bloom formation compared to last year.
  3.  Natural England:
    1. Significant amounts of engagement and recommended over 700 measures to help improve the condition of the Wye.
    2. Collaborative working with other partners including WUF to discuss environmental implications of the sector.
    3. Starting a campaign targeting every farm adjacent to the river on both the Wye and the Lugg.



NMB Voting Membership pdf icon PDF 197 KB

To confirm the present voting membership of the board.


Led by: All


The Chair read out and confirmed the list of current voting members for this meeting as attached to the agenda.


River Wye governance proposals pdf icon PDF 357 KB

To consider an update report following internal NMB discussions concerning future governance.


Led by: All

Additional documents:


An overview of the governance proposals was given. The main points included:


  1. Why it was collectively agreed that work on governance should be carried out. This covers:
    1. The distinction between the statutory agencies and stakeholders.
    2. References to the board which talk about the board being able to influence and advise and challenge.
  2. Clarity on those who have legal remits to work within the catchment on what affects the water quality in the catchment.
    1. Feedback about the naming of the Executive Statutory Group has led to the change to River Wye Statutory Officers Group.
  3. The proposals that have been put forward for discussion.
    1. An outline of the Terms of Reference includes an aim for the board would be for stakeholders to come together across the catchment and have the ability to influence the decisions and actions that have an impact either directly or indirectly on the catchment.
    2. To advise the River Wye Statutory Officers Group on their proposals, plans, decisions, and actions and to challenge them on those and the delivery of those.


It was noted that there were still some outstanding issues for discussion during this meeting. These included:


  1. The name and making sure that the name reflects what the remit of the group is.
  2. The membership which covers voting rights and the engagement with wider groups across the catchment.
  3. The chairing of the group going forward.


The key points made by members in the discussion included:


  1. Name:
    1. Support was expressed to keep the name ‘board’, particularly as a change in name could cause confusion for members of the public.
    2. It was added that use of the term board helps to align with the Welsh model.
  2. Membership and voting rights:
    1. On voting rights, there was concern raised regarding members who sit on both this board and the Statutory Officers Group.
    2. It was noted that voting would be rare, however, where voting is necessary, it was also commented that members should not be able to vote across different groups.
    3. A two-tier system for voting was regarded as inappropriate and would not be consistent with the Nolan principles.
    4. It was added that depending on what the board decided on the Terms of Reference, this would need to be reviewed against local authorities’ constitutions and the views within those local authorities.
    5. Support was expressed to give voices to both the river and tourism on the board.
  3. Chairing:
    1. Support was expressed for Cllr Elissa Swinglehurst to remain as Chair of the board, including from Cllr Catrin Maby, Cllr Jackie Charlton, and Cllr Sid Phelps, particularly as it would be difficult for those respective councillors to have the capacity to take on the role of Chair.
    2. Cllr Swinglehurst suggested potential possibilities including having a co-chair or vice-chair from the councillors on the board so that there is a good representation from the Welsh side.
    3. Cllr Jackie Charlton supported the suggestion of vice-chair and noted that she would be happy to take on this role and learn from the Chair with the potential to take on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.


Date of next meeting

The date of the next scheduled meeting is 17th January 2024, 2-4pm.


The next meeting is scheduled for 17 January 2024, from 2-4pm.