April 2020

MALDON HARBOUR IMPROVEMENT COMMISSIONERS

Printable pdf 30 April 2020 Minutes of Email Meeting

In view of the coronavirus lockdown rules, an online meeting via email was designated for Thursday, 30 April 2020 at 7 pm.  Agenda, Minutes of previous meeting, Clerk’s Report, Treasurer’s Report, Buoy Report were made available in advance.

MINUTES OF MEETING – 30 April 2020

PRESENT:
Jim Dines (Chairman)
I Hiner (Vice Chairman)
M Gibson (Treasurer)
G Courtney
P Ellum
A Fluker
N Harrisson
J Howorth
D Patient

68        APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from N Cardy, John Dines, A Wiseman.

69        DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTEREST
There were none, other than those declared during the meeting.

70        MINUTES – MEETING 5 MARCH 2020
The Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 5 March 2020 were formally received.  The Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 5 March 2020 were confirmed as a correct record.  Formal Agreement to the Minutes to be postponed until a conventional meeting can be held.

71        MATTERS ARISING
There were none.

72        CLERK’S REPORT
Item 1.            North Quay Regeneration Brief
MHIC responded to the N Quay Regeneration Brief as copied to Commissioners on 20 March 2020.
Item 2.            Draft MMO SE Inshore Marine Consultation
MHIC responded in a positive tone.  The response was marked with the MMO option to remain anonymous to public.
Item 3.            Website Domain Registration
This has been renewed.  (Domain Registration is annual; Web Hosting is every three years.)
Item 4.            Harbour Dues for 2020 – 2021
These have been published and circulated, including the note that next year would see an increase.
Item 5 Joint River Safety Meeting 2020
In view of the coronavirus situation, the Joint River Safety Meeting was cancelled.  Guest speakers were thanked.  Some speakers contributed their written notes which are being compiled into a Joint River Safety Meeting Report.

73        TREASURER’S REPORT
The latest Year End Accounts had been completed and sent to the Examiner but probably would not be signed off for a few more weeks.
The Accounts showed a relatively low level of non-routine expenditure including buoy maintenance, albeit combined with a lower level of Harbour Dues (c £1,000 less than last year) resulting in a surplus for the year of £853.30.  The bank balance stood at £18,036.04.
Depending on how long the ‘lock down’ continued, it was possible that Harbour Dues for the next year (2020/21) would be minimal whilst costs would probably remain at current levels.  The only cost that MHIC might try to reduce was insurance.  If there was a lower level of activity would it be reasonable to enquire whether MHIC could get a rebate or reduction for next year?  The Treasurer understood that other types of insurance were rebating.
It has been argued in the past that MHIC should hold a sufficient buffer to cope with contingencies and this event is exactly that.  Even if there were no revenue this year, MHIC should still end the year with over £13,000.  The need to maintain a buffer would be a factor in the need to increase Harbour Dues next year.
The waiving of Harbour Dues for this year was discussed.  Jim Dines commented that income this year would be very low but the Commission had reserves to cover it.

74        BUOY REPORT
Checks were carried out on 1 March and 6 April 2020.
Nos 17, 11 and Harbour Limit Starboard were checked and found satisfactory.
No 16 some bird fouling was observed.
No 13 bird scarer straightened.
Nos 15 and Harbour Limit Port some bird fouling, cleaned.
No 14 very dirty with bird fouling.  Cleaned – light, sides and top.
No 12 numbering “2” failing.
No 10 bird fouling, cleaned.  Light showing possible signs of internal condensation.  Anti fouling on waterline is degrading.
All buoys in serviceable condition although some improvements to anti-bird fouling deterrents required, particularly Nos 10 and 14.  Some buoy numbers were degrading but currently serviceable.
Ground tackle, pennant checks and service outstanding were a priority.
Maldon District Council Buoy No 8 Hilly Pool was checked and found heavily bird fouled, cleaned.

75        SIGNAGE
Jim Dines reported that a speeding sign had been purchased and awaited fitting.

76        NEW COMMISSIONER
The appointment of Patrick Ellum had been finalised as from 30 April 2020, the day of the meeting.

77        URGENT ITEMS OF BUSINESS
Item a)            J Howorth resignation – J Howorth had tendered his resignation.  On behalf of the Commissioners, Jim Dines thanked J Howorth for his time as a Commissioner and wished him well.
Item b)            Closure of the river – G Courtney raised whether the river should be “closed” for leisure use due to the coronavirus lockdown.  D Patient expressed concern regarding social distancing and risks to RNLI/rescuers should there be an accident.  I Hiner commented that the river was very quiet and noted that PPE was being worn by users.  Jim Dines stated that closure remained under review.  Commissioners supported this.
Item c)            Commercial traffic – Jim Dines reported that the possibility of shipping aggregate in to Maldon was being pursued.  This was welcomed by the Commissioners.
Item d)            Bradwell B – A consultation document had been received by those in the area.  Jim Dines expressed support for the use of sea-borne freight for the build and support phases.  This was supported by Commissioners.  G Courtney and I Hiner expressed concern regarding water quality including radio-activity, stating that recordings should be taken currently as a benchmark and results made available in the public domain.
Item e)            Web cams – This is being progressed.  A Fluker reported that MDC are revamping their CCTV system and suggested that Commissioners could liaise with R Holmes at MDC.
Agenda Item 10        General comments – J Howorth and John Dines commented on the potential for tidal power.

The use of Zoom or Microsoft Teams for the Commissioners’ meetings was raised.

Last email contribution to the meeting was at 7.35 pm.