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.
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.