Venue: Cliff House, Salcombe
Contact: Email: Democratic.Services@swdevon.gov.uk
Apologies for Absence
It was noted that apologies for absence for this Board Meeting had been received from Cllr Long and Messrs Owens, Plant and Shipperley.
to approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 14 November 2022;
The minutes of the Salcombe Harbour Board meeting held on 14 November 2022 were confirmed as a true and correct record.
brought forward at the discretion of the Chairman
There were no items of urgent business raised at this meeting.
Declarations of Interest
In accordance with the Code of Conduct, Members are invited to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, Other Registerable Interests and Non-Registerable 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 was made:
Ms Jones and Mr Stewart both declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in all related agenda items by virtue of paying harbour duties. As a result of the Deputy Monitoring Officer having granted each Board Member a dispensation, they were able to take part in the debate and vote on any related matters (Minute SH.05/22 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, there was one member of the public in attendance.
(a) Mr Eliot Eglington
In addressing the Board, Mr Eglington cited examples of how he felt he had been marginalised by the Harbour Authority and proceeded to state that it was his impression that visitors and second homeowners were in receipt of preferential treatment over local residents.
Following his address, the Chairman expressed his sorrow that Mr Eglington felt so dissatisfied and encouraged him to contact the Local Government Ombudsman. Furthermore, the Chairman was aware of the amount of communication that had been sent from Mr Eglington to officers and he asked that, with immediate effect, any further correspondence now be sent to him in the first instance.
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 Board was informed that the Forum was next due to meet on 18 April 2023. By way of an update, the Estuaries Officer also informed that:
- It was proposed to set up a Working Group to review and monitor the water quality in the Estuary, with any Board members who were interested in serving on the Working Group being asked to let the Estuaries Officer know accordingly. In addition, given his longstanding interest in water quality, a specific request was made for the recently retired Board Vice-Chairman to be invited to be part of the Working Group;
- There was a current Dart Estuary project that was looking to re-store salt marshes. In light of the importance of these ecosystems, it was hoped that this project could be rolled out to other Estuaries in the local area.
South Devon & Channel Shellfishermen
The representative advised that the Shellfishermen were generally content and, in waiting for an upturn in weather conditions, were currently focusing on repairs and maintenance.
When questioned, the Harbour Master advised that the Fish Quay Bid remained in progress.
In addition, the Harbour Master made reference to a number of the Shellfishermen being part of a working group that was considering all aspects of the handling of live crabs and lobsters (including their sale and how they were cooked). The Harbour Master felt it was important that this review was closely monitored.
Kingsbridge and Salcombe Marine Business Forum
The representative made reference to the challenges associated with smaller local businesses being able to obtain a commercial mooring and the consequent perception that these moorings were monopolised by larger businesses. In reply, the Harbour Master recognised the challenges but encouraged those local businesses to submit their business plans to the Harbour Authority and he confirmed that the Authority would do all it could to support them.
Kingsbridge Estuary Boat Club (KEBC)
It was noted that the Club had last met at its Annual General Meeting on 8 February 2023 during which key club roles had been confirmed for the next twelve months.
The Club was particularly keen on gaining an understanding on the subjects of Mooring waiting lists and turnover on the pontoon.
Finally, the Harbour Master advised that working relations between the Club and the Harbour Authority were incredibly strong and the support provided by the Club was invaluable.
East Portlemouth Parish Council
The representative confirmed that there were no issues arising from the Parish Council.
Harbour Master's Report PDF 260 KB
The Harbour Master presented a report that provided an update on a number of recent issues that had affected the Harbour. In particular, the report provided specific updates on service performance, major projects and any other issues that impacted upon the Harbour.
In discussion, particular reference was made to:-
(a) the security arrangements. Members acknowledged that, given the upgrades and improvements in the security arrangements, this year would be a transitional one. The lead Executive Member informed that Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology was now in place in Dartmouth and it was felt that such provision could also be installed in Salcombe. It was agreed that the Harbour Master should give further consideration to this matter outside of this Board meeting;
(b) seasonal recruitment challenges. Whilst they had now been overcome, the Harbour Master stated that, for the first year in his tenure, the Harbour Authority had experienced some challenges in filling some of its seasonal vacancies;
(c) the five-year Plan. Given that the Harbour Authority was about to embark on its busy season, the Board was supportive of the suggestion of the Chairman to defer any further work on the Plan until after September 2023;
(d) the climate change agenda. The Harbour Master informed that updates on the progress being made with regard to the Harbour Authority’s drive for carbon emissions to hit net zero by 2030 would be raised at both the Annual Harbour Inspection and a future Board meeting;
(e) the recent Incident Management Exercise undertaken on a local oil spill scenario. The Harbour Master confirmed that he would circulate to Board Members a copy of the outcome report once it had been received.
It was then:
That the Board note and endorse the contents of the Harbour Master’s report.
Commercial Pontoon Allocation
Following informal discussions at the last Harbour Board workshop, an item had been included on the published agenda that sought the consideration of the Board to a proposal from a local business to replace a block of five pontoons with a modular pontoon that would accommodate up to 18 yawls.
In discussion, the Board recognised that the proposal would see the local business take on the complete financial risk and noted both the wider economic benefits and the resultant return of the iconic yawls to the Harbour. Finally, Members were content that the proposals satisfied the fairness test and proceeded to express their support for the initiative.
It was then:
That the Board support the proposed commercial pontoon allocation as set out at the meeting.