Toddbrook reservoir reviews

Published: Wednesday, 23 October 2019

FOLLOWING the announcement in September by the Environment Secretary, Theresa Villiers, of an independent review into the Toddbrook incident, the government has now published terms of reference, writes Allan Richards.

WhaleyBridgeDamGovernent review

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers explaind:

“I’m pleased that the independent review into the incident at Toddbrook reservoir, which I commissioned last month, is now well underway.

“I expect this review to provide valuable insight into how this incident came about, and I hope it will also offer peace of mind to local residents. The outcome of the review will help inform how we can further improve this country’s excellent reservoir safety record.”

Report by end of year

Professor Balmforth will report back to the Environment Secretary with his findings on the incident by the end of the year, the details of which are expected to be made public early next year following consultation with all parties involved.

ToddbrookDrainedInitially, the review will consider what might have led to the damage and if it could have been prevented or predicted.  It will also identify any lessons learned.

Full terms of reference can be found at:

Terms of reference: review of Toddbrook reservoir incident

CaRT review

Canal & River Trust, which announced its own independent enquiry on 1st October, has provided no further details of who will lead it, the form it will take or when a report might be published.

However, a source within the Trust, who declined to be named, has said that Andy Hughes of Atkins (a design engineering and project consultancy company) will be leading its independent enquiry.  It is understood that terms of reference are yet to be agreed.

Why two?

Ultimately, the public will be paying for both these enquiries.  So why do we need two?  It might be better for CaRT to leave the review to government.

Better still, bearing in mind that 'the experts' have not learned the lessons from previous incidents such as Ulley and Oroville, perhaps a public enquiry is needed.