Informal notes of a meeting of the Directors held on Thursday 12th July 2018 In McArthur’s Store, Dunbar

Present: Alasdair Swan (Chair); Steven Anderson; John Band; 

Andrew Brown; Paul Ingram; Kenneth Maule; 

Quentin Dimmer (Harbourmaster)

Apologies: Barry Buglass; Barry Fisher; Robin Hamilton; Eric Robertson

Minutes of the previous meeting:

The minutes of the meeting held on 14th June 2018 were approved.

Port Marine Safety Code and the Health & Safety Report:

  1. Incident log review

The harbourmaster reported that there had been a near miss between a paddle boarder and a leisure boat in the harbour.

An incident report will be prepared so that lessons can be learned from the near miss.

  1. Risk assessment review

The following risks were reviewed at the meeting –

  • Damage as a result of mooring failures
  • Grounding on debris in the harbour

It was agreed that no changes were needed to these risk assessments but it was noted that both of these risks have resulted in actual damage to boats in recent years so the risk assessments remain highly relevant.

  1. PMSC audit

The following actions were agreed last month and will be carried forward to the next meeting.

The internal audit will be carried out in July.

A response to the external audit will be sent to Capt Vale.

Finance Report:

There was a deficit of £1,547 in June. This can be attributed to the annual gardening contract and repairs needed to the McArthur’s Store boiler.

Landings were down 11% on their 2017 level.

There was a near absence of launching and mooring fee income in June and it was hoped that this would not be repeated in the remaining summer months.

The credit control management is working well with most customers responding positively. One account has had to be sent to the debt collector and it was agreed that the contractual administration charge (designed to recover the cost of collection) must be recovered from the defaulting customer so as not to disadvantage other harbour users.

Moorings Committee:

It was noted with regret that Dave Johnstone had resigned from the Moorings Committee.

It was agreed that Ian Combe would be invited to join the Committee.

Duncan Forbes and Kevin Keillor are the other members of the Moorings Committee and they will be approached to check whether they wish to remain on the Committee.

The harbourmaster reported that further applications for moorings were coming in and he believed that he could accommodate them all.

He also wishes to produce formal costed recommendations for the Board to consider this autumn after the harbour chains have been inspected.

Dave Johnstone and Duncan Forbes have offered to organise this year’s hardstanding and it was agreed that their kind offer should be accepted.

Dave Anderson did a wonderful job last year of managing the craning out of the boats and it was agreed that he should be asked to undertake the task again this year.

The harbourmaster explained that he had been invoicing harbour users for hardstanding on receipt of an application. It was explained historically that precedence was given to harbour users who had used the hardstanding in previous years and invoices were only sent out to new applicants when it was certain that there was space for them. With several large yachts now removed from the harbour and the hardstanding it may yet prove possible to accommodate everyone who has paid for the facility. Review and report back to the next meeting.

Harbour management committee:

There has been no meeting of the DHMC in June

Harbour bridge –An offer to replace the rams has been received from ICI but it is not clear from the quotation exactly what is covered in it. A meeting will be convened to discuss this quotation with the harbourmaster and John Blyth present.

The absence of coach screws was noted and these need to be replaced in stainless steel to secure the wooden planks.


Branders –

The rubber is being fixed to the branders in AG Thomson’s yard.

Toilets –

The view was expressed that in order to attract grants the project probably needed to be more ambitious.

The previous plan which included an information centre will be circulated.      This had been produced so that there was minimum impact on the residents’ view of the castle, harbour entrance and Battery and did not impact on the existing area used for the yachts’ hardstanding. This plan had  however also been objected to by residents.

Funding may be available from Waste Management companies across the country.

Broadhaven breakwater –

To be carried forward until Robin’s return

Harbour improvement plan:

Development of the area under the castle –

The latest update on the work by the Mexican artist will be circulated to the Board

The Fishing for Litter skip must be removed and replaced with  a more appropriate skip which will be positioned along the South Pier where some of the potato boxes now stand.

Unless the Fishing for Litter team respond in a more timely way to the reasonable requests of the harbourmaster the Board will review whether it wishes to continue to support this (otherwise worthy) initiative.

Development of the area under the Maggie –

There will be a meeting with the FLAG representative next Thursday to discuss what funding possibilities are open to the Trust for these projects.

The feasibility of getting containers into this area remains key.

Details as minuted at the last meeting will be discussed with AG Thomson next week

Cromwell Harbour surface repairs –

This work has been commissioned and will now be actioned.

Maintenance Bay –

Various possible ways of improving the bay were discussed.

Pontoons –

The harbourmaster remains a keen advocate of these pontoons. At the current rate of mooring charge there would be no business case to be made for such an investment but the harbourmaster is of the  opinion that the pontoon would be viable in the conditions experienced in the Victoria Harbour (which has also been a barrier to progress in the past).

No further action will be taken on pontoons until the Board has digested the financial impact of the existing projects.

CCTV cameras –

Improving the CCTV coverage is already on the Harbour Improvement Plan but the harbourmaster wished to raise this subject again. It was duly noted.

Friends of Dunbar Battery:

The Dunbar Battery has been well used this year with a high number of events.

Advertising of events on Social Media has been good but it was agreed that there needed to be better promotion of these events on more conventional notice boards, including the one outside the Town House and the Harbour Notice Board.

The site will be used in the coming weeks for RNLI Day, Sparkling Dunbar and the Homecoming Event.

There are a few defects to be remedied on Dunbar Battery after which the retention can be released to Graeme Brown

Sparkling Dunbar and RNLI Day:

The work of Yvonne Wemyss in organising the Sparking Dunbar Day was acknowledged and various members of the Board are helping her on the day.

Similarly many Board members are supporting RNLI Day actively by manning the gates or other stalls.


Grateful thanks go to Kenny Maule for taking on the editorship of the monthly newsletter.

Input to the newsletter is required each month.

Andre Coner will continue to populate the website provided he is provided with the source data.

Any other competent business:

Environmental plan:

The harbourmaster explained his current initiatives –

  • To reduce the potato boxes to one deep
  • To place the Fishing for Litter skip on the South Pier
  • To revisit the management of recyclable waste
  • To see whether Viridor will remove broken creels as a source of high energy.

Harbour briefing:

The first vimeo of a Harbour briefing has been published on Facebook.

Work is under way to produce an improved second version, using a drone.

Distribute version 1 to members of the Board.

Mooring and hardstanding charges:

There was a proposal that the hardstanding charges should be raised significantly next year. The argument was that the current charges are low and demand for space is high.

It was noted that the leisure users pay for a whole year’s mooring charge for a harbour mooring that can be positively dangerous in the winter months. In order to protect their boats they pay for the craning out and in of the boats each year and pay a supplementary charge for their hardstanding mooring. The commercial boats have always had moorings on the South Pier and a safe haven in the Cromwell Harbour, both of which are available to them twelve months in the year.

The Board considered that there is an equity in the status quo and proposed to make no changes to the charging structure next year.

The next meeting of the directors will be held on Thursday 9th August 2018.