Agenda and minutes

Venue: Burdett Room, Riviera International Conference Centre, Chestnut Avenue, Torquay TQ2 5LZ

Contact: Governance Support 


No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 384 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 6 September 2023.


The minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 6 September 2023 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairwoman.


South West Water Spotlight Review pdf icon PDF 282 KB

To carry out a spotlight review and consider issues in connection with services provided by South West Water.


Members of the public have been invited to submit representations by 4pm on Friday, 29 September 2023.


Representatives from South West Water will be present for this item.


Additional Background Information


South West Water EPA data report 2022 - GOV.UK (

Additional documents:


The Overview and Scrutiny Board undertook a spotlight review on issues of concern regarding services provided by South West Water (SWW) and to see how the Council could work together with SWW to improve outcomes and communication for the residents of Torbay and examined the written responses to initial key lines of enquiry and supporting documents (full details of which can be found at


·                     South West Water Spotlight Review Key Lines of Enquiry and responses;

·                     Representations from members of the public to South West Water;

·                     Officer question to South West Water;

·                     South West EPA data report 2022; and

·                     Presentation from South West Water.


The Board heard evidence from the following:


·                     Helen Dobby (Director of Wastewater Services, Recovery, Treatment and networks, SWW);

·                     Jay Harris (Waste Water Services Regional Operations Manager, SWW);

·                     James Hodgson (Operations manager, SWW);

·                     Rob Parsons (Tor Bay Harbour Master – Divisional Director Maritime & Coastal Services); and

·                     David Pickhaver (Principal Policy and Project Planner, Strategy and Project Management).


The Board acknowledged the work being done by South West Water to improve water and manage drought which was set out in their Water Resources Management Plan and Drought Plan 2025 to 2050 and the Drainage and Waste Management Plan.  This included proposals to:


·                     Increase supply through:  storing more water; using river water wisely; using groundwater; recovering wastewater; balancing the flow of water; and diversified water resources;

·                     Reducing demand through:  preventing and fixing leaks; installing smart meters; and promoting community water efficiency; and

·                     develop a long term plan for drainage and waste water and by 2050 they would have:  maintained flooding risk; improved storm overflow performance; raised treatment standards; maintained compliance of their treatment works; and built resilience against wider climate change risks.


Members noted the investment in services such as WaterFit Live ( and the establishment of a Storm Overflow Task Force to prioritise reduction in spills and improved performance of storm overflow.  As well as continuing to promote their “free find and fix” offer for customers with private leaks at their homes. Concern was raised around storm overflows and it was explained that these could occur both in the event of heavy rain and also in the event of a blockage in the system which could occur at any time.  These events were closely monitored and investigated to ensure that any blockages could be removed.  It was clarified that the water that comes from overflows was treated and 95% of this was surface and rain water.  It was noted that whilst there were some occurrences of sewage spillage the Tor Bay Harbour Master advised that this was often misreported, especially around the beaches and coastal areas which could be impacted by wind direction and tidal activity.  Councillors and members of the public were encouraged to monitor and report water quality around our beaches and use the WaterFit Live and the Environment Agency Swimfo sites (


The Board acknowledged the appetite from the representatives of South West Water to work more closely  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.