Venue: Main Hall, Cliff House
Contact: Email: Member.Services@swdevon.gov.uk
to approve as a correct record and authorise the Chairman to sign the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 28 January 2019;
The minutes of the meeting of the Salcombe Harbour Board held on 28 January 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Declarations of Interest
Members are invited to declare any personal or disclosable pecuniary interests, including the nature and extent of such interests, they may have in any items to be considered at this meeting
Members were invited to declare any interests in the items of business to be considered during the course of the meeting, and the following were made:
Cllr Wright, Ms Jones, Mr Mackley, Mr Marriage, Mr Stewart and Mr Taylor each declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in all related agenda items by virtue of having moorings or paying harbour dues to the Council. As a result of the Solicitor granting each Board Member a dispensation, they were all able to take part in the debate and vote on any related matters (Minute SH.3/18 refers).
Public Question Time
a period of up to 15 minutes is available to deal with questions from the public
In accordance with the Public Question Time Procedure Rules, the following members of the public addressed the Board:
(a) Houseboat Business Representatives
The representatives advised the Board that they were involved in a houseboats business and they were keen on exploring whether they could expand their business into the Harbour. The representatives were therefore in attendance to find out whether or not there was any objections to the principle at this stage and whether or not there was any appetite amongst the Board for discussions to continue with the Harbour Master.
In discussion, Board Members expressed some concerns over the safety and management of such a business in the Harbour and confirmed that they were not supportive of such an initiative at this current time. In response, the representatives accepted that they still had a number of issues to resolve and it was agreed by all parties that they should come back to the Board in two years’ time to present a more detailed concept.
(b) Ross and Zoe Crook - Salcombe Dinghy Sailing Club Business Owners
The representatives highlighted to the Board that they were looking to increase participation in sailing and were offering local schools sailing opportunities for their pupils. To date, the Club had managed to secure some local business sponsorship and local schools had confirmed their interest in taking part.
In welcoming this concept, the Board emphasised the importance of young people being taught how to sail and Members were therefore very supportive of this initiative. The Board asked that the Harbour Master consider possible methods to further assist the Club (e.g. through the Harbour fees and charges structure) and asked that an update in this regard be presented to the Board at its next meeting. Finally, a local Devon County Council Member made reference to the possibility for his Locality Allowance to be used to support the Club and he asked that the representatives contact him outside of this meeting.
Feedback from Harbour Community Forums
to receive verbal reports from Board Members who attend the Harbour Community Forums on behalf of the Board
The Board received verbal update reports from those Members who attended the Harbour Community Forums. The updates were given as follows:
Salcombe Kingsbridge Estuary Conservation Forum (SKECF)
The representative provided an update from the last SKECF meeting and highlighted that:
- Representatives from the Environment Agency had been in attendance and an open discussion on eel grass, marine grass and sea grass in the Estuary had taken place;
- Concerns had been raised over speeding in the Frogmore and South Pool areas. However, the meeting did acknowledge that recent Harbour patrols had seemingly had an impact on the number of speeding vessels.
South Devon & Channel Shellfishermen
Whilst the representative had been unable to attend the last meeting, it was confirmed that the Shellfishermen were happy with the fendering and new fridges. The Harbour Master had responded to some parking concerns that had been raised and this had been welcomed. Finally, it was felt appropriate for the Board to highlight the major issues being faced by the Industry as a consequence of the current Brexit uncertainties.
Kingsbridge and Salcombe Marine Business Forum
The representative advised that nothing had been heard yet from the Council in respect of the allocation of the Batson Units.
Kingsbridge Estuary Boat Club (KEBC)
The representative advised that he had attended a positive Club meeting on 21 March 2019 and advised that:
- The allocation of Moorings had been discussed and there was a general acceptance that the current Policy was appropriate for a Municipal Port;
- In response to some concerns over the permanent ‘vacant’ moorings at Kingsbridge, there was a possibility that a proposal may be forthcoming from the Club whereby it managed these moorings;
- In light of the length of the waiting list, the Club was considering making a request for a larger mooring to be installed at Kingsbridge;
- The Club did recognise that scrubbing on the Kingsbridge Slipway would have implications on the ability to dredge that area in the future;
- The point had been made that the bottom of the New Bridge Slipway was broken. Furthermore, an abandoned dinghy on this Slipway had been reported; and
- Whilst it was currently being looked at (and it was acknowledged that it was privately owned), the meeting advised that Hillhead Pier had crumbled away.
The representative informed that:
- there was a wish for lighting to be installed at Ditch End; and
- the question had been raised as to whether a byelaw should be drafted with regard to buckets on boat engines.
Standing Agenda Item
The Board considered a report that provided an update on a number of recent issues that had affected the Harbour. In particular, the report updated on service performance, major projects and any other issues that impacted upon the Harbour.
During the subsequent debate, the following points were raised:-
(a) The Board thanked those officers who had been involved in the ‘Leading Lights’ project and it was recognised that this had been a significant piece of work;
(b) It was noted that the Performance Indicators that were reported would differ slightly from the summer and winter months;
(c) Members welcomed the new e-harbour guide that was felt to be an excellent document;
(d) In terms of replacing the Assistant Harbour Master (Maintenance & Logistics), the importance of the new postholder being in place before Mr Gill retired was emphasised;
(e) The work that had been undertaken on the 2020/21 Rates and Charges was welcomed and the importance of a thorough consultation exercise on any potential new proposals was recognised.
It was then:
1. That the content of the report be noted and endorsed; and
2. That approval be given to the funding (up to a total cost of £10,000) of the development of the new Salcombe Harbour Authority Website from the Salcombe Harbour General Reserve.
The Assets Specialist informed that the purpose of his presentation was three-fold:
1. To provide an update on the Procurement and Delivery Strategy;
2. To circulate plans and drawings to the Board; and
3. To inform of the current programme (and timescales) that officers were working towards.
In the ensuing debate, reference was made to:
(a) the three aspects of the project (the Commercial Units; the Harbour Office; and Whitestrand) were progressing at a very fast pace and it was currently intended that the planning applications would be presented to the Development Management Committee meeting in July 2019. Members were advised that the benefits of each of the three projects working to the same project timescale were very significant;
(b) the current lack of a defined planning use class for solely maritime units. In planning terms, this made it difficult to term the ‘Commercial Units’ as being ‘Maritime Units’. However, the Board asked that all possible steps be taken to ensure that these Units be retained for the intended maritime use.
(c) parking provision. When questioned, the officer informed that the plans included provision for two parking spaces for each commercial unit;
(d) dimensions of the Commercial Units. The officer agreed to circulate the proposed dimensions of each of the Commercial Units to interested Board Members;
(e) consultation with stakeholders. It was agreed that the outcome of the stakeholder consultation process would be reported back to the next Board meeting;
(f) the Admirals Court, Dartmouth units. The Board noted that the intention was for the design of the units to replicate those units that had recently been developed at Admirals Court, Dartmouth and potential tenants could visit this site to gain an impression of what was being proposed.
In conclusion, the Board thanked the officer for his presentation and it was requested that Members be in receipt of regular project updates.
Chairman's Concluding Remarks
Before formally closing the meeting, the Chairman advised that this was to be last Board meeting before the Group Manager – Commercial Services left the employ of the Council. As a result, Members wished to thank the officer for the commitment and dedication that she had given to the Harbour and wished her good luck for the future.
As this was also anticipated to be the last Board meeting of the 2018/19 Municipal Year, and the local elections would have taken place before the next Board meeting, the Chairman thanked all Board Members and officers for their commitment and diligence during his Chairmanship over the past four years. The Chairman proceeded to wish those retiring Members well for the future and those Members who were seeking re-election good luck in their respective endeavours.
Finally, the lead Executive Member informed that he would not be seeking re-election in May 2019 and he wished to echo each of the sentiments that had been expressed by the Chairman.