How much more council taxpayers money will be spent on an impracticable system?

How much more council taxpayers money will be spent on an impracticable system?

A constant flooding problem that Rhondda Cynon Taf Council have failed to solve even after spending many thousands of pounds of your council tax money on a system that is not fit for purpose, back in 2014 The cost of the Annual Service Agreement is £250.00 pa plus the cost of any parts require over and above that. So how much is the Annual Service Agreement costing now and for a system you as taxpayers are paying for that is incapable of doing what it was designed for so who is that down to the council of the company who installed the system? Whoever is responsible are they good at their job?


Because there have been so many problems on this Public Right of Way we were informed that the highway department was responsible for this section some years ago but they haven’t improved the situation or has it got worse?    


In April 2015 we had this response from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council under the Freedom of Information Act part of the response below.


Q         I am informed that you have installed two new water pumps adjacent to the PROW next to Railway Bridge is this correct? If this is correct please can you provide name and model number cost of pumps and installation cost?


A          With regard to the underpass, 2no. Klargester DS0750K submersible pumps, powered by Electrical Switchgear (Grundfos Dual Pump Control Panel GBETS009) sited in a lockable weatherproof enclosure, were installed in 2009 to attempt to alleviate the surface water flooding to the underpass. The pumps were installed as part of a drainage strategy that included the installation of french drains to direct surface water flow to the pumping chamber and a discharge pipe, outfalling into the Aberdare Canal.


Following the failure of these pumps, RCTCBC replaced the pumps with 2no. Lowara DOC 7 manual submersible pumps in June 2014. The pumps are currently subject to a maintenance program with the contractor, which includes full service and cleaning of the pumps. RCTCBC also undertake ad hoc inspections of the pumps.


With regard to the cost of the pumps, we feel that this information is commercially sensitive and therefore are applying the exemption set out under Section 43 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, which deals with prejudice to commercial interests.  This is a qualified exemption and we have therefore applied the public interest test.  In making this decision we have weighed such factors as the Council’s desire to be open and transparent in all its dealings against the need to ensure that it is able to contract openly in the market place.  


Accordingly, in accordance with Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the Act”) this email acts as a Refusal Notice to this part of your request.


Q         The French drains feeding the pumping chamber are badly silted up and require regeneration do the authority intend replacing the French drains?  ground water and water flowing off the rail track at the Railway Bridge buttresses on to PROW has this been achieved?


A          The flooding observed at the underpass is predominantly the addition of groundwater to the surface water runoff, a flow is also is also noted to discharge from the Network Rail embankment. In times of high rainfall, surface water runoff and groundwater combine to exacerbate the situation and the pumps are overwhelmed. RCTCBC have engineers looking at options to deal with the additional groundwater and minor works have been carried out to minimise the flow of groundwater to the pumps.  The recent dry spell has allowed “base” flows of groundwater to be measured and this will be valuable data in looking at these options. RCTCBC have been in contact with Network Rail to discuss the underpass issues and these discussions are currently ongoing.


Now that Welsh Labour operate and manage the railway in Cynon Valley in its entirety including rolling stock and infrastructure perhaps a permanent solution can be achieved by Transport for Wales and Rhondda Cynon Taf Council raising the height of the bridge and track at this point.


The walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces say Sustrans as the flooded section forms part of the Cynon Trail and National Cycle Network Sustrans also say we have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness.


Back in 2015 RCTCBC have engineers looking at options to deal with the additional groundwater they didn’t look very far then, but what if this was happening in Pontypridd would there still be a problem? Pontypridd where the council can spend 2 million on a footbridge that’s not required just for a walk in the park but can't stop long term flooding at the Ynys Aberdare.


24 November 2014 

I refer to your Freedom of Information Request in respect of the installation of new water pumps at Ynys Field, Aberdare.  The Authority’s response is as follows:


·         Cost of installation of the new water pumps was £4060.28 plus VAT. 


·         Works were undertaken by Samatrix Pumping Solutions. 


·         The Council contacted Samatrix Pumping Solutions to carry out the work, as they originally installed the system.


·         An Annual maintenance agreement has now been entered into with Samatrix from November 2014.


Well, its only council taxpayers money.


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Team @ AberdareOnline

Team @ AberdareOnline

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