Agenda item

Update on activity

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


The key updates from Nutrient Management Board members included:


1.     It was asked whether there will be minutes of SOG meetings and whether the TAG still operates or whether it has been disbanded for task and finish groups.


a.     Martin Quine (EA) responded that there will be a full minuted version of the SOG. Going forward, the review of the NMP/DWPP will involve an options appraisal which should start to inform what task and finish/TAG groups are needed to take forward.  The task and finish looking into the usefulness of Poole Harbour as a model of nutrient loss measurement has been paused as it was not considered to be the right thing to pursue at this time.


2.     The Chair asked in relation to the 8 high risk farms cited in the NRW update as to out of how many farms that is.


a.     David Lee (NRW) confirmed that it was 8 out of the 800 farms in Wales this year since Christmas. This was targeting the big dairy farms and there are not so many of them situated on the Wye.


3.     Christine Hugh-Jones (Council for Protection of Rural Wales) asked if NRW are concentrating on those farms with respect to the notification procedure for farms which are not able to keep up with the new lower spreading rates in the agricultural rates.


a.     The Chair asked if NRW could take that away and bring an answer in the future.


4.     The Chair also asked if a copy of Monmouthshire County Council’s Rivers and Oceans plan could be provided.


5.     The Chair provided a verbal update on behalf of Herefordshire Council. The main points included:


a.     Herefordshire Council (HC) has now adopted the minerals and waste local plan. The policies within that plan are designed to help support delivering nutrient neutrality or betterment in the SAC. It has taken account the aims of other documents relating to river water quality such as the NMP.

b.     The new local plan is looking at policies to support objectives of the NMP and is at regulation 18 consultation stage.

c.     HC has moved ahead to build more wetlands and they will be coming forward as a way of mitigating phosphate for housing and delivering 20% betterment for the river. That is funded by the purchase of phosphate credits by house builders.

d.     The Cabinet Commission continues to meet and will continue to provide cross border local authority cooperation and will look to increase liaising with both governments and the commission reserves the right to function as a scrutiny panel in relation to works of the board.

e.     The HC Environment and Sustainability Scrutiny Committee has had two sessions regarding water quality and the NMB.

f.      A session took place with the scrutiny committee for adult wellbeing looking at the health impactsof intensive poultry industry.


6.     Sarah James (Farm Cymru) noted that she will be sitting on the NMB as a farming representative and will be able to provide updates in future meetings.


7.     Councillor Catrin Maby (Monmouthshire County Council) added that an initiative to bring in a specialist on regenerative farming to mentor local farms has been carried out in Monmouthshire.


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