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Minutes of a meeting of Directors held on Thursday 13th February 2020

in McArthur`s Store Dunbar 



Alasdair Swan (Chair); Steven Anderson; John Band; Alison Fisher; 

Barry Fisher; Paul Ingram; Robin Hamilton; Eric Robertson;  

Yvonne Wemyss;


Kenny Maule; Quentin Dimmer (Harbourmaster)




1 Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 9th January 2020 were approved and will be posted on the website.


2 Matters Arising

  • The design of the collection box will be carried forward
  • The repainting and/or replacing of the 3T sign and the introduction of a 5 MPH sign will be carried forward.
  • Establishing the maximum number of potato boxes that can be held on site is a matter to be carried forward.
  • The Google Drive database is available for any directors who either have capacity issues with Dropbox or who wish to lodge large files for the Harbour Trust archives.
  • There was a request that the Management Committee minutes should be published for the full Board. Placing these minutes on Dropbox will be sufficient.













3 Port Marine Safety Code


Incident Log Review

There were no major incidents to report in December.

The harbourmaster was congratulated on the new minor incident report.

The Board reviewed this report and discussed the implications of –

  1. Loose rocks above the harbour entrance – where the initial action will be for the Board to have a physical inspection of the area involved.
  2. Fuel spills inside the harbour – where the fishermen are helping  the Harbour Trust to find ways to minimise this. Automatic bilge pumps need to be switched off when in harbour and owners need to ensure that their crews understand the necessary procedures if these spills are to be avoided. The incident log will assist the Board in determining whether this subject is improving or not.
  3. Inadequate mooring ropes continue to pose a problem – the Harbourmaster talks to owners about this whenever possible.

Risk Assessment Review

  1. Washed off sea walls during high seas
  2. Run down by vessel entering harbour or passaging around and between harbours, while diving or swimming
  3. Electric shock
  4. Fuel spillage

The controls will be changed to reflect the plan to keep the bridge down in bad weather (to avoid further damage to the bridge).

However the new gate along the North Wall will be a positive control. It was agreed that it will need a warning notice.

It was also agreed that the chain needs to be re-introduced, not because it will be effective at keeping people from crossing the bridge but as a clear and visible message that they should not cross the bridge in the interest of their own safety. The latest notice on the chain has blown away so a more secure solution is required.


Safety review of 2019

The latest version was approved and will be posted on the website.

Safety Management System update

The SMS will be updated following the internal audit which will be conducted by Paul Ingram supported by Alison Fisher.

Some of the matters which need to be addressed are:

  1. A letter of compliance which needs to be sent to the MCA
  2. The current status of the Harbour Inspection Register – it was noted that the Harbourmaster keeps some records of his inspections and these need to be considered against the wording of the SMS. In addition the Board’s commitment to walk the length and breadth of the harbour, noting defects, needs to be re-introduced. Also the requirement and methodology of the bathymetric survey needs to be reviewed again.
  3. The review of the Marine Accident Investigation Branch reports needs to be restarted to ensure that users of Dunbar harbour learn lessons from other locations.
  4. The training programme for staff which could do worse than a methodical working through of the Appendices to the SMS.
  5. The Safety Policy needs to be reviewed and signed off by the Harbour staff.
  6. The Accident and Incident policy needs to be replaced by the latest version.
  7. The Risk Assessment programme needs to be replaced by the latest version.

In relation to the requirement of Section 4.4 of the SMS the Board reviewed its powers under the statutory powers given to it by the Scottish Government. Those powers must be used to:

  1. Hold, maintain and manage the harbour
  2. Ensure access to and departure from the harbour where reasonably practicable
  3. Preserve existing public rights of way within the harbour where reasonably practicable

Visit of the Designated Person

Ron Bailey will be hosted on an informal visit to Dunbar Harbour on 9th March

Safety improvement

The electric sockets in the South Pier bunkers will be upgraded to meet modern standards of safety.






































































4 Finance


January report

  1. The surplus of £1,268 in the month of January included the following items.
  2. Landings were well up on the previous year and are now 5% ahead of 2018/19
  3. There was a payment of £455 for the fuel management software licence.
  4. However the cost of advertising for new directors is a little behind last year’s time-table so will feature in next month’s accounts.
  5. Although the total level of debt is high, most of the debt is not yet due. The payment from the RNLI came through as promised in the month.

It was acknowledged that the Trust is grateful to Avril Anderson who keeps such a tight grip over the Trust’s Credit Control

Retailers – 2020

There has been interest received from the following retailers and the Board is willing to grant all of them licences to trade provided that the necessary application forms are submitted and that matters such as insurance are all adequate –

  1. Big Blu
  2. Moules frites
  3. Tasty Toastie
  4. Bisset’s Quality Seafood
  5. Fizz Bar
  6. The hut at the harbour (Eric Robertson declared his interest)

As half of these retailers are part time there is scope to accommodate other retailers on other nights, Tuesday and Thursday being the current busy nights.

There was a discussion as to whether traffic should be banned from crossing the bridge on Tuesday and Thursday nights, but it was noted that the disabled need to be catered for, so that in the first instance the matter will be kept under review to see whether or not there is a problem.

There was a further discussion on waste removal. The preferred position is that retailers should remove all of the waste associated with their operation, but it was agreed that (with no commitment that the service will be on-going) for the time being retailers could pay £15 per month per unit to use the Trust’s skip.

There will be no provision of electricity on the far side of the bridge. Retailers will need to bring their own generators.

Budget 2020/21

The general budget for 2020/21 was approved and adopted.

There will, as usual, need to be additional budgets for separate projects, including the Harbour Festival.







































5 Harbour Management Committee

Red diesel

The subject continues to be under review at the DHMC

Dredging of Cromwell Harbour

The focus is currently on SEPA’s requirements.

The meeting discussed the need for the DHMC to be specific about the end result to be achieved (i.e. exactly how much of the harbour bottom needs to be removed, not too much, not too little).

The DHMC needs to consider whether any chosen methodology will achieve this result.

It appears that the project is being driven by the need of the large prawn boats. The DHMC should consider what state of the tide allows these boats to leave their moorings, to quantify what benefit this project might have.

Finally there is the need for the DHMC to consider what the knock-on implications for the Broadhaven and Victoria Harbours might be of moving reside out of Cromwell Harbour.

DFA Cold Store

The meeting with the DFA has been postponed at the DFA’s request, but at the DHMC meeting there was an indication that the DFA will be willing to contribute to a better solution for the area outside the cold store which is not draining away completely. The principal problem appears to be the debris from the effluent.

It was agreed that the Board should meet with the DFA to see exactly what is causing the problem and to ensure that it is the Cold store that is the source of the debris.

Thereafter an agreed plan for better drainage can be drawn up and costed.

North Wall Safety Gate

This should be installed shortly

Environmental checklist


Outcome No:

Subject Area

Item Description

Date raised at DHMC 

Responsible Person

Action Req’d



 Waste Management

Location of waste management facilities with clear signage to ensure relevant waste deposited.



Ongoing mgt.

It was agreed waste facilities are suitably marked but recognised inappropriate waste is sometimes deposited. HM will monitor and action as required.


Water Efficiency

Use of efficient methods, push taps and trigger hoses for example.




It was agreed excessive water use is not an issue as major cleaning only happens once or twice a year (boats/ creels etc.) and that other facilities are well managed. No further action at this time.


Energy Efficiency

‘Switch-off’ policy for lighting/ equipment not being used and energy efficient light bulbs for example.



To be considered by DHT

It was agreed a switch-off policy is not required as those who rent facilities pay for services and therefore use effectively. It was recommended that the DHT install energy saving light bulbs on replacement of existing. 


Improved Waste Mgt

See item 1.1






Improving Pollution Control (Oil Spills)

Annual reduction in oil spillage to maintain clean and safe environment.



Ongoing mgt

There was one minor oil spillage in January ’20. This source was unidentified. 


It has been agreed that the boat can stay until 31 March but must then be moved off site.

The boat is currently not seaworthy.

Enjoyleisure site above the vaults

The Harbour Trust is very grateful to enjoyleisure for allowing the site to be used for much needed storage. It was suggested that it would be worthwhile trying to establish a price that would allow enjoyleisure (itself a charity) to sell the land under the footpath to the Harbour Trust so that the Trust could use it for charitable purposes.

It was agreed that before an approach is made to enjoyleisure the exact nature of the Trust’s charitable use needs to be agreed internally. There have been different views expressed, recently and in the past, on whether this site should be used for storage, water sports, museums and other ideas, and the board needs to come to a decision as to exactly why it want this land if it is to put a successful proposition to the trustees of enjoyleisure.

Storage of potato boxes and creels

Because of the limited space at the harbour the Chairman was asked to write to all fishermen on the subject of careful use of the storage
























































































6 Projects


  • Work has started on site
  • Permission will be sought for the other owners of the stores under the castle before erecting a lighting pole which should benefit all.
  • No stores have been allocated but there is a register of applicants and anyone else is most welcome to add their name to the waiting list.

Harbour Bridge

  • The scope and costs of future work is still being established
  • The leaves are out of synch. Again
  • The sleepers are loose and the surface is slippery.


  • The project is in serious danger. East Lothian Planning Department was late in coming to a deliberation and then introduced a serious of largely unreasonable conditions, including one which completely undermines the whole project.
  • An urgent meeting has been sought with the planners who are away for the school holiday





















7  Harbour Improvement Plan

Castle railings:

A quote has been received for replacing the castle railings.

The railings in their current condition represent a hazard.

It was agreed, as there is no public access to the site, to remove the railings entirely in the first instance.


See DHMC above – section 5

Maintenance Bay:

Robin Hamilton and Kevin Thomson have discussed ways of reducing the specification and cost of this project to make it more deliverable

Drain from the Cold Store:

See DHMC above – section 5


The contractor is unable to provide costings until the warrant drawings are drawn up.

It was agreed that Blueprint should be instructed to produce these.

Safety barriers along the South Pier

A quote for putting up these barriers has been assessed by an independent consultant and was considered to be fair.

A project paper with plan now needs to be prepared showing exactly what AGT is proposing to do for the money. Once the Board has the details for the proposal it can approach grant funders.


















8 Annual election of Directors

  • The draft of the advertisement was approved, subject to the additional request for candidates with engineering skills
  • The advert will now be placed in the Courier and on the notice boards





9 Any other business


Visit of our Member of Parliament:

Kenny McAskill MP has asked to meet the Board on Monday 17th February at 12:30

Six directors can attend.


Steven Anderson reported that a wedding will take place at Dunbar Battery this July and there is a production planned for “The Merchant of Venice”

A team will attach the film over the Battery lights tomorrow at 10:30

Harbour Festival

There has been a proposal to bring a Jet Ski demonstration to the Harbour Festival. There are safety issues and scheduling issues to consider, so no final decision was taken, although the general feeling was that this demonstration might be better left to RNLI Day.

Refill bags

The Harbour Trust continues to provide bags for the dog litter bins.

RNLI slipway

The rectification of the defects is due to be completed by the end of April. It was noted that the boats will still be on the hardstanding during the period of this work, so the Harbour Trust will need to be informed where the contractor will be setting up his stores.



10  Date of next meeting – Thursday 12th March

PI will be in the chair for the March meeting in the absence of AS who submitted his apology for absence.