A meeting took place on Monday 4th November with relevant stakeholders and the District Council. If anyone wishes to give feedback or comments these must be submitted to the Council by 12th November. A report is going to the District Council meeting on the 20th November.
Martin Stephens wanted to ascertain what the Council / Urban Splash’s long term plans are for the area/Marina. Donald Sutherland advised the group that this could cause complications and the group should accept the concept and try and steer it at a later date
It was noted that there may be changes to come with the potential merger of the District Council with Taunton Deane with possibly a change in lead officer on behalf of the Council. It was noted that WHAC was a statutory body and would need to be continued.
Donald Sutherland advised that changes were imminent under the Marine Act which meant that if a Harbour Authority wishes to create any ‘general directions’ these must be sanctioned through a Harbour Advisory Committee. ‘General Directions’ are to be a lot simpler to implement than byelaws.
Concerns were raised that the Harbour Advisory Committee would have to merge with Minehead. It was agreed that the Committee must be pro-active.
It was agreed to send a copy of the minutes to the District Council’s new Chief Executive with a request to be advised as to who the new lead officer would be from the Council.
Donald Sutherland asked for it to be noted that he was proud of this Committee and the authority as many areas that he visits do not have harbour budgets at all and it is essential that this budget is retained.
Works are about to commence on the replacement of the landing stage on the West Pier. Works are to commence next week on installing a new ladder and removal of some fendering.
Donald Sutherland advised that there had been an incident recently at Portishead where a pushchair went into the sea. This occurred where the area was fenced off with posts and chains.
Sally de Renzy Martin advised that a sign at the beginning of the West Pier would be beneficial to advise of the strong winds.
Discussion took place about the silt in the Harbour. James advised that the dredger had been damaged and was waiting for the insurance assessors to visit. He advised that the dredger would be going to other Harbours to carry out dredging to earn some funds but was aware that work was still required in the Harbour.
He advised that the Marina had also been investigating back-up systems in case the gate failed.
Sally de Renzy Martin asked the group whether they had been aware of much harbour jumping over the summer period. No one was aware of this but it was advised that there was still fishing on the West Pier head and out on the East Quay. A rowing boat had been caught in fishing lines recently.
James Burnell suggested that a walkabout was required for the Harbour as one had not taken place for a while. He advised that fendering had fallen off a wall into the Marina.
David Mainwaring advised that the turning circle on the West Pier is being used by the general public to park their cars. This has caused difficulties with getting boats onto trailers. It was suggested whether Flashpark could be operated in this area as well.
The meeting ended at 6:30 pm.
The next meeting will be on 15th January at 5pm.
NB Please be advised that following a meeting at the Council on the 6th November 2013 the Portfolio Holder responsible for Harbours is Councillor Trollope-Bellew