AT A MEETING of the RIVER HAMBLE HARBOUR BOARD held at Victory Hall, Warsash on Friday 18 May 2007
Hampshire County Council
p Councillor J.V. Bryant
p Councillor K. Evans
p Councillor K. House
p Mr. T. Lovell
a Mr. C. Moody
p Dr. S. Tomson
p Mr. D. Evans
Captain M. Capon, Designated Person (Port Marine Safety Code) and Tony Clatworthy, Harbour Master.
136 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies were received from Mr C. Moody.
137 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members were mindful that where they believed they had a personal or personal prejudicial interest in any matter to be considered at the meeting, they should, normally at the time of the debate, declare their interest and, having regard to the circumstances described in paragraphs 9, 10, 11 and 12 of the County Council's Code of Conduct, consider whether to leave the meeting whilst the matter is discussed.
Dr. S. Tomson declared a personal interest as a Member of the Royal Southern Yacht Club and as a mooring holder, Mr D. Evans declared a personal interest as a mooring holder and boat owner, and Mr T. Lovell declared a personal interest as a Member of the Royal Southern Yacht Club and as a mooring holder.
The Board considered the Minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 23 March 2007 (Item 3 in the Minute Book). Captain Mark Capon requested that the following amendments be made to the minutes. In paragraph 2 of minute 132 to amend the last sentence so that it reads `He suggested that if remedial action were required, payment for such action should not come from the Board's budget, as in his opinion the problem may have arisen due to the jetty being inadequately made in the first place.' Also, in paragraph 10 of minute 132 to change the sentence to read `Captain Mark Capon informed the Board that he was satisfied that the `Notice to River Users 12 of 2006' adequately covered the safety aspects concerned, and re-iterated that safety on the River Hamble was a joint effort'.
Members agreed to these changes. The Chairman's signature would be sought as verification of the minutes once these changes had been incorporated.
139 CHAIRMAN'S COMMUNICATIONS
The Chairman reported that the report by the Trust Port Study Group had recently been sent to the Director of the Recreation and Heritage department at Hampshire County Council, with a covering letter by Peter Nicholson. He requested that when this report was received that copies be circulated to the Board members.
A report resulting from the internal Governance Review initiated by the County Council was also due to be handed in on this day, and he further requested that copies of this report also be provided to the Board. The Chairman indicated that once members were in possession of both reports he would be looking to hold a meeting of Board members to discuss their content. He reported that the County Council would be assessing both reports independently. Having considered both reports carefully, the County Council would formally respond to the Trust Port Group.
The Chairman also reported to members that he had received a letter from a Mr. Cummings regarding Harbour Dues. He also indicated that he had received a letter from the River Hamble Mooring Holders Association regarding the parking issues that arise from the Harbour Authority granting works consent. The Chairman noted that parking issues are beyond the remit of the Harbour Authority and informed members that he would be forwarding the letter to the District and Parish Councils whose authority parking allocation comes under.
The Chairman went on to inform the Board regarding recent updates in the area of anti-social behaviour on jet-skis. Gosport Borough Council had sought a judicial review in the High Court after Fareham Magistrates declined to impose an anti social behaviour order (ASBO) on the rider of a jet-ski. The High Court had upheld Fareham Magistrate's decision but indicated that an ASBO could be issued to a jet-ski user if another person had been distressed, alarmed or harassed by their behaviour. The Marine Director reported that his experience of jet-ski users on the River Hamble was generally good and that they tended to be among the first to pay their harbour dues.
No Deputations were received for this meeting.
141 HARBOUR MASTER'S REPORT
The Board considered the report of the Director of Recreation and Heritage (Item 6 in the Minute Book) summarising activities and events on the river since the last meeting. The Harbour Master handed round an update listing the incidents that had occurred since the report had been written. (see Update to Harbour Masters Report in the Minute Book)
Regarding 4.1 the Harbour Master indicated that the annual report of all incidents that occurred between April 2006 and April 2007 would be reported to the River Hamble Harbour Management Committee meeting in June and would then be reported to the Board at the meeting in July.
To update 4.14 the Harbour Master was pleased to report that the stolen yacht had been found and returned to its owner, and a suspect arrested.
To explain 1.26 of the annex, the Harbour Master indicated that the incident took place outside the jurisdiction of the Harbour Authority (in Southampton Water). A man was washed overboard and his life jacket failed to inflate. Members were concerned about this incident, though it was noted that the safety of participants in this event was down to the organisers. It was emphasised that it was essential for event organisers to liaise with the Harbour Master to ensure safety issues were fully covered.
Regarding 4.1 of the annex, the Harbour Master reported that the Harbour Master's Office was liaising with local Police Community Safety Officers to establish a strategy to deal with youth activity on the River over the summer. He noted that Eastleigh Borough Council was applying for a bylaw to stop people jumping off Bursledon Bridge, and that Fareham Borough Council were intending to follow suit.
The Harbour Master also drew members attention to 6.1, the Hamble River Raid event. He commented that the Harbour Masters Office had been involved in the event in order to ensure it took place safely, although the participants in the event do not pay harbour dues (because they are rowing boats).
That the report be noted
142 HARBOUR AUTHORITY DRAFT STRATEGIC PLAN
The Board considered the report of the Director of Recreation and Heritage (Item 7 in the Minute Book) regarding the long-term plans and aspirations of the River Hamble Harbour Authority.
The Marine Director introduced the report and noted that the report still used the term `jet-skis' which should be changed to `personal water craft'. He also highlighted to members the points made about this report by the members of the Management Committee (see minute 119 of the Minutes of the Management Committee, Item 12 on this agenda).
Members agreed to accept the point raised by the Management Committee regarding including in 7 (viii) an explicit reference to the fact that environmental concerns are taken into account when the Harbour Authority considers applications for works consent.
Regarding maintaining a range of moorings on the River, including `affordable' moorings, the Board felt that 7.1 (vi) `To manage the mid-stream moorings efficiently and fairly, on behalf of the Crown Estate' covered this, as dealing with moorings fairly implied taking the different needs of mooring holders into account.
The Board discussed whether the draft strategic plan should be consulted on more widely, however it was agreed that it had been under discussion long enough. It was agreed that the Marine Director would make the amendments agreed, circulate the final version for approval by the Board, and then publish it.
That the draft River Hamble Harbour Authority Strategic Plan be approved by the River Hamble Harbour Board.
143 CAPACITY OF THE RIVER HAMBLE
The Board considered the report of the Director of Recreation and Heritage (Item 8 in the Minute Book) regarding measuring the capacity of the River Hamble. It was noted that the current limit is 3,261 moorings. However the Marine Director argued that a more useful measure of capacity would be the number of boats that could safely be underway at any one time, and that more than just the number of boats moored contributed to this.
He suggested that to calculate capacity in terms of moving boats, one would need to take into account various factors including the number of dry-sailed boats on the water, the number of dinghies, the number of visiting boats, and the number of boats normally moored in the River that may be out of the River. Members agreed that this would give a truer indication of capacity of the River, however they questioned whether any of the figures necessary (other than number of moorings) could be judged with any accuracy.
Members noted that if a new method of judging capacity were investigated, this could result in a recommendation that fewer moorings should be allowed than the current number. Members commented that if this was the case, current mooring holders and those on the waiting list were likely to be unhappy.
The Marine Director argued that the current moorings limit is an artificial constraint, and does not in itself enable control of capacity on the River and therefore perhaps it should be done away with. He gave the example that under the current system a marina cannot turn a space to moor two large boats into a space to moor four smaller boats, because of the limit on number of moorings. This aspect was discussed and members considered the option of changing the limit from a limit on moorings to a limit on overall meterage of boats.
However members voiced concerns that without any limit on moorings, it would make considering works consents applications more difficult to deal with as it would be harder to justify denying expansion without a mooring limit. It was suggested that the current limit does not cause a problem, therefore why change it.
Regarding the recommendations, the Board agreed that it was worth looking into the issue of the carrying capacity of the River Hamble further, however they did not want to commit to changing the existing limit, and it was also agreed that further thought should go into this before consultation. Therefore the Board
That the River Hamble Harbour Board agrees to initiate a programme to address the issues of the carrying capacity of the River Hamble.
144 HARBOUR AUTHORITY WORKS CONSENTS - ADMINISTRATION PROCEDURES
The Board considered the report of the Director of Recreation and Heritage (Item 9 in the Minute Book) regarding the administration procedures involved when the Harbour Authority considers applications for works consent.
Regarding 2 (iii) where it is stated `latest date for formal applications to be 15 working days before next Management Committee meeting', the Marine Director reported that the Management Committee had suggested that 15 days was too short a time for all the relevant procedures to take place. He therefore suggested that this be changed to 25 days. The Board approved this amendment.
That the document `Harbour Authority Works Consents - Administration Procedure' be approved by the River Hamble Harbour Board subject to the amendment of `15' to read `25' in paragraph 2 (iii).
145 HARBOUR AUTHORITY WORKS CONSENTS - DELEGATION OF DECISIONS
The Board considered the report of the Director of Recreation and Heritage (Item 10 in the Minute Book) regarding the situations in which works consents applications are handled by the Harbour Master.
That the River Hamble Harbour Board approves the Scheme of Delegation for Harbour Authority works consent decisions on the basis set out in the report.
146 PLANNING CONSENTS APPLICATION - STONE PIER YARD
It was noted that this Item had been withdrawn from the agenda for this meeting.
147 MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE HELD ON 16 APRIL 2007
The Board considered the Minutes of the meeting of the River Hamble Harbour Management Committee held on 16 April 2007 (Item 12 in the Minute Book). The Board had taken account of the Management Committee's recommendations relevant to the Items on this agenda.
That the minutes be noted
148 EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC
That the public be excluded from the remainder of the meeting, as it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the public were present during item 14 there would be disclosure to them of exempt information within Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, and further that in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, for the reasons set out in the report.
149 ASSET REPLACEMENT PROGRAMME AND RESERVES POLICY (EXEMPT)
The Board considered the exempt report of the County Treasurer and the Director of Recreation and Heritage (Item 14 in the Minute Book) regarding the River Hamble Harbour Authority's future plans regarding asset replacement and reserves.
The County Treasurer explained that the possibility of leasing patrol boats in future instead of replacing them had been investigated, but found to be more expensive by approximately 30%, and would limit the Harbour Authority's control over maintenance and modifications. The County Treasurer therefore recommended that purchasing boats was preferable to leasing them. The Board agreed and therefore passed resolution 1.
The County Treasurer pointed out to members that the annex to the report listed the Harbour Authority's assets and the estimated replacement costs and times. The Board were happy with this and therefore passed resolution 2.
The County Treasurer then went on to explain that the Board needed to decide how much to allocate to the asset replacement reserve, and if the Board would like to maintain a reserve for asset enhancement, how much to set aside for this. The County Treasurer handed round 3 graphs (see annex to Item 14 in the Minute Book) in order to clarify the impact different decisions would have.
Board members discussed the possibility of having an asset enhancement reserve. Members agreed that it would be good to have the opportunity to enhance the River, and that the current financial situation provided the opportunity to do so. The Director of Recreation and Heritage informed members that if there was a plan in place for what improvements the Harbour Authority would like to make, it was likely that further funding could be sought from external bodies. Members agreed to discuss in more detail at a later date what could potentially be on the asset enhancement programme. The Board agreed resolution 3, with a budget of £250,000 to be set aside for asset enhancement.
Regarding the asset replacement reserve, the County Treasurer recommended the option outlined in Graph 3, which would result in a lower annual contribution than currently into the asset replacement reserve, but would still allow for a reasonable contingency. The County Treasurer also recommended that whatever decision was taken, that the situation be reviewed again every 5 years. Members discussed the fact that paying less into the asset replacement reserve would result in a saving, which could potentially be passed on to mooring holders by reducing the annual increase in Harbour Dues. Members agreed to the option that involved a lower annual contribution to the asset replacement reserve which still allows for a reasonable contingency, and therefore resolution 4 was agreed with a £43,000 annual contribution to the asset replacement reserve. Members then discussed the revenue reserve and what to do with the interest gained on monies held in reserve, resulting in agreement to resolution 5.
1 That the River Hamble Harbour Board notes that leasing the patrol boats is not an appropriate approach for replacing the existing boats, on the basis that the cost of leasing is significantly higher than purchasing outright.
2 That the River Hamble Harbour Board notes the asset replacement programme including purchasing patrol boats outright, the annual replacement of engines through the revenue account and the free provision of the Harbour Master's Office at a cost of some £30,000 per annum to the County Council.
3 That the River Hamble Harbour Board approves an "asset enhancement reserve" of £250,000, to be accompanied by a programme of opportunities for the future.
4 That approval be given to the sum of £83,000 being the target level for the asset replacement reserve at the end of the 25 year replacement programme and that annual contributions to reserves of £43,000 be agreed as the means of achieving this eventual outcome.
5 That approval be given to reserves policies to support the long term replacement of assets as follows:-
(a) Revenue Reserve - to stand at no more than approximately 10% of the gross revenue budget (currently equating to a maximum reserve of about £60,000) and any excess to be either transferred to the asset enhancement reserve, returned as a one-off lump sum to mooring holders proportionate to their fees paid, used to reduce the annual increase in charge to mooring holders, or used to fund one-off pressures on the revenue budget, to be determined by the Board at the time it arises.
(b) Asset Enhancement Reserve - to stand at £250,000 and to be accompanied by a programme of opportunities for the future. Interest to be credited to it annually.
(c) Asset Replacement Reserve - to be sufficient to replace all Harbour Authority assets and maintenance dredges over a 25 year cycle, with a target level at the end of the programme of £83,000 and annual contributions of £43,000; interest to be credited to it annually to maintain its buying power.