Have a question? Look through our frequently asked questions for an answer.
Only occupiers of Agricultural Land and Buildings (including pony paddocks, private fishing lakes, woodlands etc) pay drainage rates direct to the Board. Rates associated with “Other Land” (such as domestic homes and gardens, businesses, retail outlets, amenities etc) are covered by “Special Levy” paid by Local Councils who in turn recover the majority of this charge from Central Government.
Agricultural use includes uses such as pony paddocks, private fishing lakes, woodlands etc. To be rated the land does not need to be used as part of an agricultural business. The land use is therefor still registered as agricultural. If you are able to provide written proof that:
- the land use has been changed, or
- that the land was sold to you as a garden free from any agricultural restrictions, or
- that the parcels of land are included in your council tax assessment
We would be able to update our records. If however, you are unable to provide this proof then annual Drainage rates will continue to be payable.
Rates are charged irrespective of whether you do or do not have watercourses on your land. Rates are charged because your property is in the Bedford Group of Internal Drainage Boards’ District and the Board manages the arterial protection of the District.
The principal responsibility usually lies with the owner of the land adjoining the watercourse. If a channel is marked as a Bedford Group drain the Board’s Byelaws will apply and the Board will often undertake required works. However, under the Land Drainage Act 1991 the Board is enabled but not required to undertake drainage works.
Immediately on receipt.
At present, we accept cash, cheque, card payments and bank transfer. Our account details can be found on your rate demand letter.
All properties within a Drainage District are deemed to derive benefit from the activities of an IDB. Every property is therefore subject to a Drainage Rate paid annually to the Board.
For the purposes of rating, properties are divided into a) Agricultural Land and Buildings (including pony paddocks, private fishing lakes, woodlands etc) and b) Other Land (such as domestic homes and gardens, businesses, retail outlets, amenities etc). Only occupiers of category a) property pay drainage rates direct to the Board. Rates associated with “Other Land” are covered by “Special Levy” paid by Local Councils who in turn recover the majority of this charge from Central Government.
The calculation of the rates is based on the assessment of the “Annual Value” of a parcel of land or agricultural building. The Annual value is an amount equal to the yearly rent that might reasonably have been expected if the property had been let on a yearly tenancy on 1 April 1988.
Each year the Board sets a rate “in the £” to meet its estimated expenditure. This is multiplied by the Annual Value to produce the amount of Drainage Rate due on each Assessment. A breakdown of the rate in the £ is shown on the reverse of the Demand Note to show how money is apportioned.
As occupiers of agricultural property these rates are payable in areas where special local measures are needed to manage flood risk. Maintenance, improvement or new works to watercourses or structures are managed in the District by the Board and rates are levied to meet expenses.
Immediately or as soon as possible after receipt of the drainage rate notice.
Rate demands are sent in April and should be paid immediately. If you have failed to pay a reminder will be sent in July. If you still fail to pay the debt will be taken to the Magistrates Court and court costs will be added to your account.
Under Section 49 of The Land Drainage Act 1991 anyone in occupation of land for any part of a financial year (1 April – 31 March) can be required to pay rates for the whole of that year. However, they then have the right to recover a proportionate part of the rates paid from anyone else who has occupied the land during that year. Your solicitor should have attended to this as part of the sale transaction and the Board notified.
A formal letter will be required as soon as possible from a suitably qualified professional eg solicitor or surveyor, or evidence of the transaction itself eg sight of Land Certificate or Lease. To enable us to easily identify the land please ensure a plan is included.
An invasive species is a species that is not native to a specific location (an introduced species), and that has a tendency to spread to a degree believed to cause damage to the environment, human economy or human health.
Yes, we do have a few sites that we are aware of and try to prevent their spread.
The problems in our area are Floating Pennywort and Japanese Knotweed.
Further information on these species can be found at www.nonnativespecies.org
Elections for membership of the Board are held every 3 years, you have the opportunity to shape the work of the Board, either by exercising your vote as a ratepayer or if eligible standing for election yourself.
The next election of members is for Buckingham and River Ouzel Board and Alconbury and Ellington Board and will take place in Autumn 2020.
The Alconbury and Ellington Board has 12 elected members.
The Buckingham and Ouzel Board has 12 elected members
If more valid nominations are received than places available, a poll for the election will take place on the 27th October 2020.
Please visit our Board Membership web page to identify your existing representative.
To stand for election you will either be an eligible Drainage Ratepayer, or you will be nominated by a landowner who pays Drainage Rates. Full details regarding qualification for membership and nominating candidates are included in the Land Drainage Act 1991, summarised on the nomination paper, which can be obtained from the Drainage Board office. Please note that your nomination paper must be validly completed and returned to us by the published deadline.
If the number of candidates exceeds the number of places available, a poll will be held. You will be entitled to vote providing that you have paid your Drainage Rates at least one month prior to the date of the election and your entitlement is shown in the Register of Electors.
If a poll is required. The results will then be published on the website. The declaration will list the elected members.
A ‘no poll declaration’ will be published on the website, shortly after the deadline for receiving nomination papers. Casual vacancies shall be filled by the election by the board of a new member.
The Bedford Group of Drainage Boards do not own any watercourses. Please use the following link to determine who owns a watercourse. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/owning-a-watercourse
If you own the watercourse you have a riparian responsibility to maintain the stretch of watercourse. Please use the following link to establish your responsibilities. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/owning-a-watercourse#owners-your-responsibilities
As the Board is not a landowner, it has no responsibility for this.
The landowner of the land from which the tree is growing is responsible for the removal of fallen trees and the felling of dangerous trees / branches.
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