MALDON HARBOUR IMPROVEMENT COMMISSIONERS
Printable pdf Minutes of Ordinary Meeting 5 August 2023
MINUTES – ORDINARY MEETING, Tuesday, 15 August 2023 at 7.00 pm.
G Courtney (Chairperson)
D Patient (Vice Chairperson)
1 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from M Gibson, N Harrisson, Jim Dines, C Swann, A Wiseman.
2 DECLARATIONS OF PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTEREST
There were none, other than those declared during the meeting.
3 MINUTES – ORDINARY MEETING 6 June 2023
The Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 6 June 2023 were formally received. It was AGREED that the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 6 June 2023 be confirmed as a correct record.
4 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE ORDINARY MEETING 6 June 2023
Minute 105 Item a) Incident at Bournemouth. It was noted that the owner/captain was exonerated.
Minute 105 Item b) D Patient would pursue the removal of buoys and materials from I Hiner’s property. Transport, either by road or water was discussed.
4 a) MINUTES – ANNUAL MEETING 6 June 2023
The Minutes of the Annual Meeting held on 6 June 2023 were formally received. It was AGREED that the Minutes of the Annual Meeting held on 6 June 2023 be confirmed as a correct record.
4 b) MATTERS ARISING FROM THE ANNUAL MEETING 6 June 2023
There were none.
5 WELCOME ADRIAN FLUKER, MDC REPRESENTATIVE ON MHIC
G Courtney welcomed A Fluker who said he was happy to work with and liaise between Commissioners and Maldon District Council.
6 CLERK’S REPORT
Item 1. Commercial Operators’ Options Form
The Commercial Operators’ Options Form had been sent out and replies received as follows:-
● Tonnage Option – Marigold, Wyvenhoe Heritage Marine, Viking Saga Landbreach
● Passenger Numbers Option – Centaur and Pudge Thames Sailing Barge Trust, Blue Mermaid Sea Change Sailing Trust.
There had been no reply from Topsail, which was followed up by a letter on 12 July 2023 asking for a response for Harbour Options “within 5 working days, ie Wednesday, 19 July 2023. If we do not hear from you, we will make the option choices.” No reply had been received.
Item 2. Port Marine Safety Code
A letter of compliance had been sent to Marine Coastguard Authority on 12 July 2023. An automated email had been received on 12 July 2023 acknowledging receipt stating “Duty holders submitting a compliance statement will have their port or facility added to the list as part of the monthly update. Please take this message as the confirmation of receipt of submission”.
Item 3. Annual Report and Baroness Vere’s letter to all ports
The Annual Report had been submitted to Port Governance and Infrastructure, Department for Transport. There was a problem with their email address which had been updated without informing ports.
An email from Homairah Ginwalla, Head of Port Governance and Infrastructure was received acknowledging receipt of the Annual Report.
She apologised for MHIC not receiving a copy of Baroness Vere’s letter regarding a forthcoming update of the Ports Good Governance Guidance. She explained why there was difficulty in contacting the Department. Apparently Ports Governance was unaware of small ports who were not members of the British Ports Association. She confirms that MHIC were now on their mailing list. Her email as follows:-
“I believe the specific email you used has been phased out and now it is simply ‘email@example.com’, rather than with the ‘.gsi’. We will be looking to update the Good Governance Guidance where this is currently listed as soon as possible. In terms of a Port Governance Branch, it is just myself and a couple of colleagues who oversee port governance matters as part of the Department’s Ports and Shipping Team. That may explain why you have had trouble getting in touch.
My apologies that the letter did not reach you directly. As the Department does not hold a database of contacts for all ports or indeed a mailing list, we had asked British Ports Association and UK Major Ports Group to distribute the letter on Baroness Vere’s behalf to their members. I believe this may have been why you did not receive the letter through an expected medium. This is an oversight on our part and again, my sincerest apologies for this.
Thank you for the offer of help with the review, and as the workstream develops here at DfT, we will be sure to reach out to ports for their insight. We will also in future be sure to include Maldon in any correspondence distribution.
Best wishes, Homairah
Item 4. Report from MDC River Bailiff
Report from N Harmer, River Bailiff, 10 August 2023
“Not a huge amount to report this time, but the Harbour Commissioners might like to know that three speeders have recently been reported for speeding . Two of these were apprehended by the police using the PWC’s provided by the Council for going through the moorings at speed along Millbeach and the third was near to Steeple Bay Caravan Park.
At a recent meeting between the new manager at the Steeple Bay site, PC Daren Chambers of Essex Police Marine Unit and the River Bailiff, the requirements of the ramp licence were explained and the importance of being able to identify those using the site’s facilities and the need for the site to take an active role in restricting the use of the site to holiday makers and owners only, and not to allow free access to ‘outsider’ who contribute nothing to the site’s reputation and cause a disproportionate amount of trouble. The Manager readily agreed to what was being suggested and has agreed to reinstate the security measures suggested, the gates at the top of the ramp and to record details of those using the facility. It was agreed the Council would provide new byelaw signs and literature explaining the byelaws.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me on 07818 013723 if you would like to discuss the above.”
7 TREASURER’S REPORT
M Gibson reported no significant change.
M Gibson would retire by the end of the calendar year. Commissioners expressed their appreciation of his work. G Courtney stated the need for a new Commissioner with appropriate skills. The Clerk would organise an advertisement through previously used channels including the MHIC Contacts List website and noticeboards eg the Library.
8 HARBOUR DUES – COMMERCIAL VESSELS
There was discussion regarding advantages and disadvantages of tonnage v passenger numbers. There would be a cap at 70 tons. If no response was received, the operator would have charge on tonnage imposed.
9 NON-COMMERCIAL HARBOUR DUES
It was suggested that boatyards, mooring owners and Maldon district Council be invited to a consultation.
G Courtney reiterated the need to charge per vessel. P Ellum stated that it was possible to agree the amount that the boatyard would pay to be based on the number of berths. D Patient reviewed the situation regarding houseboats possible making a voluntary contribution. Many would be willing to contribute. This was discussed.
N Cardy declared a Conflict of Interest.
It was AGREED that a consultation meeting would be held inviting boatyards, mooring owners and MDC. Preferably early in October. There was discussion identifying Commissioners who did not have an interest.
10 MALDON HERITAGE HARBOUR – RECOGNITION OF MALDON PORT
A letter of support would be sent to MHHA.
11 PORT MARINE SAFETY CODE
a) Purchase of MHIC Marine Emergency mobile phone number 07803 479819
G Courtney reviewed the function of the new phone.
b) Letter of compliance
This has been written and acknowledged, see Clerk’s Report Minute 6, Item 2. G Courtney would contact the Harbour master at Brightlingsea for further information.
c) MHIC now back on the UK Ports contacts list.
See Clerk’s Report Minute 6, Item 3.
d) Update of Ports Good Governance Guidance in process. Baroness Vere’s letter.
See Clerk’s Report Minute 6, Item 3.
12 HARBOUR MAINTENANCE AND BUOY REPORT
H Swann had inspected the buoys and taken action as required. The Buoy Report was up to date. G Courtney had purchased on new Port, one new Starboard lantern and two battery packs. These had been passed to H Swann.
13 MEETING WITH MALDON DISTRICT COUNCIL M HARWOOD-WHITE AND N HARMER
A date needed to be established. A Fluker would follow up. Items for an Agenda were discussed and included wreck ownership and removal, Harbour Dues, insurance of boats, Visitors’ Pontoon, public slipways, proposals for the Quay, race marks in the Fairway, Mill Tower demolition.
14 MILL TOWER – DEMOLITION PLANNING APPLICATION 23/00091/FUL
This has now been approved. D Patient reported that asbestos cladding was mentioned in the planning documentation.
15 URGENT ITEMS OF BUSINESS
Item a) Triathlon, Saturday 2 September 2023. D Patient and John Dines would patrol with a RIB and a Notice to Mariners would be issued.
16 DATE AND TIME OF NEXT MEETING
This would be Tuesday, 10 October 2023, 7 pm at Maldon Little Ship Club.
The Chairperson closed the meeting at 8.25 pm.