The Government has now published the independent report into the Toddbrook Reservoir incident which led to the evacuation of Whaley Bridge last summer.
The report has been finally published following pressure from Robert Largan MP, who raised the issue in the House of Commons with George Eustace, Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. The High Peak MP called on the report to be published, saying: “The people of Whaley Bridge deserve answers.”
The key conclusion of the report is that the design of the spillway was "inadequate and not fit for purpose". The design and construction was carried out in the late 1960s by the nationalised British Waterways Board.
This design flaw was “exacerbated by intermittent maintenance over the years".
The report, led by Professor David Balmforth, makes 22 recommendations, which cover both Toddbrook Reservoir and the entire reservoir network. These recommendations include:
-Ten recommendations covering the inspection and supervision of reservoirs
-Four recommendations proposing further work is done to consider the implementation of or changes to the current legislative framework
-Five recommendations for improved operations and maintenance
-Three immediate actions to be taken as a result of the spillway design concerns identified at Toddbrook
The Government have accepted all the recommendations. Repair work is already under way at Toddbrook Reservoir.
The full report and recommendations is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/toddbrook-reservoir-incident…
The Ministerial Statement in response to the report is here: https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answe…
Robert Largan MP commented:
“I welcome this report. It’s only right that people are given answers as to what went wrong last year and that we take steps to make certain that nothing like this can ever happen again.
“I am pleased the Government have quickly confirmed they accept the recommendations of the report and will be acting on them as soon as possible. I will be working closely with Ministers and the Canal & River Trust to learn the lessons and repair the dam. But I want to make certain this is more than just a repair job. We need to take this opportunity to make improvements for the whole community, such as potentially installing a circular path round the reservoir and looking at a hydro electric generator.”