Swale & Ure Drainage Board
District of IDB:
The area of the Swale and Ure Drainage Board is 203.4km2 and includes significant areas of highly productive agricultural land. It includes 470km of managed watercourse and serves 1143 drainage ratepayers in parts of Richmondshire, Hambleton and Harrogate council areas. Managed watercourses drain the rural communities near Catterick, Bedale, Northallerton, Thirsk, Boroughbridge and outskirts of Knaresborough and Wetherby. They also allow drainage of significant lengths of the A1(M) motorway, the A168 A19 Trunk Road, and the East Coast Mainline Railway. It also serves three active military airfields.
History of IDB:
Establishment of River Catchment Boards and Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs) was formalised under provisions of the Land Drainage Act (LDA) 1930. IDBs were granted general supervisory powers over all matters relating to the drainage of land within the district. Most of these powers still operate today under the LDA 1991 (as amended).
In 1948 the Yorkshire Ouse and Humber Catchment Board became the Yorkshire River Board and the Yorkshire Water Authority in 1974. The Yorkshire Water Authority was privatised in 1989 and the much curtailed river management functions transferred to the National Rivers Authority which evolved into the Environment Agency (EA) in April 1996.
The Swale & Ure board came into force 1 April 2012 when five existing IDBs (Bedale & Upper Swale, Cod Beck, Claro, Lower Swale and River Wiske) were abolished.
What IDBs Do:
Internal Drainage Boards are statutory bodies set up to manage water levels in a defined district for the benefit of land managers, householders and industry in that area. They are funded by agricultural occupiers through the drainage rate and local authorities through a levy. Drainage Districts only exist in areas of special drainage need.
IDBs are given powers through the Land Drainage Act to:-
• Enforce the Land Drainage Act
• Act as the supervisory body for all matters relating to land drainage within the district
• To make byelaws to protect adopted rivers and watercourses and then enforce them
• Carry out such works which the Board deem necessary.
To do this the Land Drainage Act permits the Board to levy the rate in order to fund its operations.
The Board’s powers are permissive and there is certainly no obligation to do works for the ratepayer in return for payment of the rate. The drainage rate is intended to fund management of the district to the benefit of the community within the district. Payment of the drainage rate by land owners or occupiers is compulsory and legally enforceable.
Number of Ratepayers:
Number of Board Members:
Number of Nominated Members from levy-paying District Councils:
Mr Graham Clarke
Mrs Liz Wilson
Alyson Duffy (Knaresborough) - Susan Stephenson (Thirsk)
Catchment Officer/Asset Manager: