About Us

The Bedford Group of Drainage Boards comprise three Internal Drainage Boards which are situated in the upper reaches of the Great Ouse river catchment.  They are:

  • The Alconbury and Ellington Internal Drainage Board.
  • The Bedfordshire and River Ivel Internal Drainage Board.
  • The Buckingham and River Ouzel Internal Drainage Board.

The Board’s operational areas are principally in the counties of Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire but also include the Unitary Authority of Milton Keynes and other adjoining counties.

These Boards have formed a consortium to maximise efficiency.  For legal reasons the consortium is known as a lead board consortium whereby the employing body is the Bedfordshire and River Ivel IDB.

The Boards are autonomous public bodies, constituted by statutory instrument, under the direct control of the board members.  The number of members is set out in the constitution of the board.  Membership comprises those elected every three years by the agricultural rate payers and those nominated by local authorities.  The latter represent the interests of residential, commercial and industrial property within the Drainage District and in respect of which local authorities make annual payments, Special Levies to the Boards.

The proportion of elected and nominated members is based upon the relative contribution from agricultural and non-agricultural land to the Board’s expenses.

Boards are responsible for raising income and approving all aspects of the individual Board activities.  They make an annual statutory return to Defra, which sets out, in financial and statistical terms, the financial year’s activities.

The Bedfordshire and River Ivel Internal Drainage Board has 25 members:

Agricultural elected members
11
Nominated Members:
Bedford Borough Council
7
Central Bedfordshire Council
5
North Hertfordshire District Council
1
Co-opted member
1

The Buckingham and River Ouzel Internal Drainage Board has 25 members:

Algricuiltural elected members
10
Nominated Members:
Aylesbury Vale District Council
1
Milton Keynes Council
7
Central Bedfordshire Council
7

The Alconbury and Ellington Internal Drainage Board is constituted to have 25 members.  However, there is only one Special Levy paying Council, Huntingdonshire District Council, who does not choose to appoint their full compliment of nominees, therefore, by local agreement, the Board has decided not to fill 3 vacant seats in the elected membership.

Currently the Board’s membership comprises:

Agricultural elected members
10
Huntingdonshire District Council nominees
5

In each case the non-agricultural areas contribute more than 50% of the Board’s expenditure and therefore are entitled to 50% plus 1 of the total membership.

The Bedfordshire & River Ivel Board and the Buckingham & River Ouzel Board meet three times a year, in February, June and November.  The Alconbury & Ellington Board meets twice a year in February and June. Every third year is an election year when a meeting of the new Board is held at the November meeting.  The Alconbury & Ellington Board hold an additional meeting in November in their election year.

The Boards have appointed a Joint Management Committee to oversee the administration which includes responsibility for employing all personnel, offices and equipment, and provision of vehicles and plant.  This committee meets three time a year in January, May and October.

There are 12 administration and civil engineering staff plus a direct labour force of 11.  Nine members of staff are full time employees, including one apprentice.