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Minutes of a meeting of Directors held on Thursday 14th January 2021

Because of the coronavirus, this meeting was held remotely via Zoom.


Alasdair Swan (Chair); Steven Anderson; John Band; Paddy Crerar; Eric Robertson

Paul Ingram; Kenny Maule; Robin Hamilton; Yvonne Wemyss; John Williams 


Apology: Alastair Cook



Quentin Dimmer 


1 Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 12th November 2020 were approved.

Matters completed –

  1. It is extremely unlikely that there will be any further FLAG money available for more safety rails around Victoria Harbour.
  2. McArthur’s Store Maintenance Schedule
  3. Final amendment to terms and conditions re poisonous waste.
  4. Rodent issue addressed in Sailing Club.
  5. Users’ Meeting was held in December as planned.
  6. Advice has been received from Paul Zochowski
  7. Harbour bridge has been serviced

Matters still in progress –

  1. Notice board installation
  2. Cold store drain – now under way          
  3. Costing of the new maintenance bay
  4. Discussion with trawler owners
  5. Harbour walk-round
  6. Storage project


2. Port Marine Safety Code

Incident Log Review

There were no major or minor incidents to report in December.

Risk Assessment Review

The following risks were assessed –

  1. Vehicle and pedestrian interaction.
  2. Trip on fishing equipment.
  3. Hit by ropes during the mooring of a vessel.

All three are classified as low level risks, the most likely hazard is seen as tripping over fishing equipment, but better housekeeping has clearly improved the situation.

One of the greater sources of risk has been the speed of traffic entering the harbour area when pedestrians are milling around the hardstanding area. This subject is being kept under review.New signage and speed bumps will also reduce the likelihood of accidents between vehicles and pedestrians in the harbour bridge area.

The assessments were approved with no amendments. 

The walk round the harbour, supported by photographic evidence, confirmed that there are still large items left around which need to be tidied up. The view was also taken that extending the barriers would be a positive move to prevent vehicles or trailers ending up in the harbour.

The depth of creels at the far end of Victoria Harbour reduced the access path to an unacceptable width. The container will be removed this month which will allow this area to be tidied up.

Dumped equipment needs to be removed (or stored off site) and old winching systems (McArthur’s) and abandoned trailers (Maggie) will be referred to the Harbour Management Committee for action.

Safety Review 2020


As part of its commitment to the Port Marine Safety Code Dunbar Harbour Trust formally reviews its safety record at the first Board Meeting after the end of the year. The aim of this review is to identify any trends that may guide the Trust to find new ways to improve the safety of the harbour.

2020 Safety Review

The incident log for 2020 shows –

Ref No





Knives stolen from Sea Salt and mooring line cut



An intoxicated individual went into the water 



Technical failure outside the harbour



Speeding down Victoria Place

  • There were 4 incidents in the year (2019 -2)
  • There were no RIDDOR reportable incidents ( 2019 – 0

In addition to the above there were near misses reported in the following categories-

  1. Oil spillages which cause environmental damage to the harbour waters.
  2. Moorings breaking which risk damage to neighbouring yachts.
  3. Swimming in the harbour when boats are operating in the vicinity.
  4. Tombstoning – an activity that risks life and limb at the harbour entrance.

The greatest risks continue to centre round the behaviour of the young people of the town, mainly in the summer months. The number of incident reports does not reflect the occasions when children were tombstoning, jumping off the North Wall or swimming in a harbour used by commercial fishermen. 

The risks that are most likely to cause serious damage to persons or property:

  1. Falls from climbing
  2. Run down by vessel entering harbour while diving or swimming
  3. Trips on uneven surfaces  

Looking at the maritime hazards only these were ranked:

  1. Operational planning error – grounding (especially when moving from Victoria Harbour into the Broadhaven)
  2. Unplanned movement of berthed vessel resulting in collision or sinking. 
  3. Unexpected tidal conditions, including swell – collision with quayside (especially in the harbour entrance)

Achievements during 2020 included:

  1. Erection of a permanent gate at the North Wall to prevent people from walking along the north side during over-topping.
  2. Installation of the first part of the barrier to prevent the forklift truck falling into Victoria Harbour.
  3. Installation of AIS repeater
  4. Upgrading of leading lights
  5. Introduction of full CCTV coverage
  6. Introduction of a new reporting system
  7. A review of three risks at every Board Meeting
  8. Certification and inspection records for harbour equipment improved.
  9. Safety guidance for leisure users issued
  10. Checks on qualifications of new applicants introduced
  11. Local contractor appointed to inspect lifting gear.

The set of measurable objectives with actions designed to mitigate identified risks were agreed as being –

  • Continued review of three risks at every Board Meeting ;
  • Fuller use of the CCTV system
  • More barriers around Victoria Harbour, particularly if trailers are going to turn along the North Wall
  • Safety signs improved
  • Speed bump installed to slow traffic going over the bridge

The harbourmaster at the recent DHMC meeting suggested that repairs to the harbour steps needed to move up the list of improvement priorities.



3 Finance

December Report

  1. There was a Deficit of £1,597 in the month of December.
  2. There were exceptional electrical repair costs of £1,933 in the month to rectify defects that needed to be made safe in the fuel store and around the castle area.
  3. It was another poor month for landings and fuel sales and if the weather forecast for the next few weeks proves to be accurate this will have been a very difficult year for our fishing industry.
  4. The professional fees of £226 related to the installation of the AIS repeater, a safety improvement that was introduced during the month.
  5. The increase in debtors is caused by the invoicing of next year’s mooring charges, sums that are not due to be paid until 31 March 2021. The credit control situation remains satisfactory.
  6. There are outstanding grants  for both the CCTV and the Maggie projects. Both projects are overspent but will represent great value for money to the harbour in future years.

The cold store drain is nearly complete. The DFA will be invoiced for its contribution when the invoice is received.

It was agreed that it will be helpful to build a database of possible funders.

A slideshow will be updated to show past achievements and current plans to help with future grant applications.

Outstanding FLAG grants: (£49,192 at end December)

The CCTV project has been closed off in early January.

The last claims are still to be authorized for the Maggie Stores project.

Retail Plan 2021

Mobile retailers

The closing date for applications to trade is 31st January 2021. An application has been received from Bisset’s Seafood Shack and a note of interest has been received from Rhona Bell, Tasty Toasty, with an application anticipated. 

Commercial unit

The following progress has been made:

  • The location has been agreed as the hardstanding, alongside Bisset’s Seafood Shack 
  • A planning application is to be submitted by Chris Percy-Davies for a 20ft container, which will be made of wood and painted in keeping with the environment
  • A financial arrangement has been presented by CPD and approved by the Board of Directors.
  • A meeting is to be arranged with CPD and the CRR Sub-Group in January to further discuss this proposal. 
  • It was agreed that CPD would present his proposal to the Board prior to submitting it to the Planning Department, so that the Harbour Trust could see what it was agreeing to.
  • Steve Anderson and Paddy Crerar have expressed their wish to withdraw from the CRR Sub-Group. Yvonne Wemyss, Paul Ingram and Alastair Cook remain as participants of the group.

The Board considered the following:

  1. Waste management – which will be the tenant’s responsibility
  2. Event management – RNLI to be briefed
  3. Communications with harbour users and others – it is important that the residents, in particular, have advance knowledge of the plan. Arrange a mailshot. Speak to the resident who was most concerned last year.
  4. There is a key interface with the craning in and craning out of the boats.
  5. There should be a comfortable interface with Bisset’s van
  6. Seating area needs to be defined and sketched.



Welfare committee brief

On 8th October 2020 the Board of the Harbour Trust resolved that:

A Committee of three directors will be established, each with a finite term, (with the aim of a rolling succession so that knowledge is retained) . The role of the Committee will be “independent” of the line management relationship of harbour staff, to provide a way of giving assessment ( on pay , conditions , disciplinary matters), as well as giving the harbour staff a place to which any of their concerns might be escalated. The Chairman would not be on the Welfare Committee.

The initial welfare committee will be:

  1. Paddy Crerar          – 2021 to 2023 Chairman
  2. Yvonne Wemyss    – 2021 to 2022
  3. Kenny Maule          – 2021 for one year

Grievance policy:

This will now read – 

“If you have a grievance about your employment you should refer it in the first instance to your line manager. Thereafter you can escalate any grievance in writing to the Chairman of the Welfare Committee”.


The committee was set up with a twofold purpose –

  1. To assess whether the pay, conditions and disciplinary matters relating to the harbour staff are reasonable.
  2. To provide an independent body to which harbour staff grievances can be escalated.

These purposes were established to protect the Chairman who has line responsibility for these decisions, while at the same time providing an escalation process for the harbour staff.

Assessment process

At least once a year, and more frequently if necessary, the committee should consider the subjects mentioned above as a group. If there is a view that any of these matters have been unfairly or inappropriately dealt with, the committee may determine whether to raise the matter with the Chairman personally or with the full Board, at its discretion.

The Committee may decide whether to meet with the Harbourmaster and Assistant Harbourmaster collectively or individually, and there is no requirement to meet the staff at all, if such a meeting is considered to be redundant. The essential role is to review the pay and conditions to protect the Trust.

Grievance escalation process

Escalation to the Welfare Committee will be made in writing.

The Committee has the power to resolve the grievance, if this can be done with the Chairman and the member of staff.

If the grievance relates to any inappropriate behaviour on the part of the Chairman, the Welfare Committee will arrive at a conclusion and will take the matter to the full Board (excluding the Chairman) for a final decision. 

Committees of the Harbour Trust

The remit of the Welfare Committee has been defined.

It was agreed that all Committees should have their remits defined and ratified at a Board Meeting to provide clarity of purpose and establishment of a due process.


4 Dunbar Harbour Management Committee

Matters raised by the DHMC, with no physical meeting being possible –

Moorings Committee:

The meeting will be held in early February.

Chain inspections:

Mooring chain wall plates have been ordered. It has been noted that new chain will be needed for next winter and the exact specification and costing is being developed.

Cromwell Harbour branders:

The Board has received a quote for £35,000 for 10 branders plus their associated ladders. It was considered unlikely that the Trust would proceed with more than four branders plus two ladders because of the visual impact of the branders sticking up so far above the coal hirst,  these branders also requiring additional support.

Maintenance Bay:

The Board has received a quote for £40,000 for the new plan for the maintenance bay.



It was agreed that any plans to dredge the harbour should be put on hold until it becomes clearer what the funding is for all of the other high priority projects, such as branders, quayside barriers and harbour steps.


Blueprint report that it cannot get a response out of Building Control to the request for a Building Warrant which was lodged and paid for last June. It was agreed that this lack of service will be escalated up the chain within East Lothian Council.

The option of working with the Sailing Club to upgrade the Club’s building to improve facilities for the Club and to provide public toilets was raised again. It was confirmed that the Sailing Club remained against this idea.

5 McArthur’s Store

Davy Brady’s container is not yet in the compound.

There has been a request from John Fairgrieve Senior to put a container into the compound. There will be no further licences issued for additional containers. When asked how much the three Port Seton based boats landed at Dunbar, it emerged that the income received last year from their Dunbar landings was minimal. 

The store rents will be increased by 6.5% in line with the agreement with the tenants. The increase is required to build up the fund for the repainting and other repairs to McArthur’s Store.

PAT testing will be organised for next month

6 Projects


The concreting is nearly finished with AGT back rebuilding the stone wall and  infilling some concrete alongside path.

There is concern that the forklift might fall onto the beach and some in-situ kerbs inside the new fence will be installed. 

C+G have connected the power. They installed restrictors to the doors and changed one of the locks 

The allocation of the stores was agreed as follows:

Store 1 – Dunbar Harbour Trust (for shared use if appropriate)

Store 2 – DFA Fork Lift Truck

Store 3 – Eddie Johnstone

Store 4 – Kevin Keillor

Store 5 – James Bisset

The date of expected occupancy will depend on the completion of the fence and the safety kerbs, but will probably be 1st February 2021

Licences will be sent to the new tenants for completion before the keys are handed over.

The hire agreement for the container at the far end of Victoria Harbour will be terminated once the stores are opened.

Harbour Bridge

There are no big issues with regard to the bridge following this month’s service . A full report will follow. The Bridge committee will meet once the report has been received.

Mark and Paul from McTaggart Scott will take over from Alan Thomson when he retires shortly. These two engineers usually work on aircraft carriers and submarines so are very experienced. 

McScott Bond has recommended  that operational advice be given to users again on the proper way to raise and lower the bridge .


The contractor has still to fix the wipers on the cameras. On-going

The electricity supply problem has been sorted

7 Harbour Improvement Plan

Planning permission

Communications have taken place with Paul Zochowski.

A planning application will be submitted limited to the North Wall fence, the speed bumps, the pierside barriers and the new signage post.


See above

Review of December’s Harbour Users’ Meeting

Thanks are due to Kenny Maule for preparing an excellent record of the achievements of the Harbour Trust which have now been widely circulated.

2021 Harbour Improvement Plan

It was agreed that the following should be added to the three-year plan –

  • South Pier Road improvements, linked possibly to the safety rails
  • Restoration of Victoria Harbour stairs
  • New chains for Cromwell and Broadhaven harbours
  1. 7.Any other competent business

Advertising for new Directors

Steven Anderson has decided to stand down as a Director at the end of March and Dunbar Battery and the Maggie Stores are among the major achievements of Steve’s decade of service to the Trust. He, John Band and Robin Hamilton will be greatly missed when they retire at the end of this financial year. With Barry Fisher’s resignation during the year this leaves four vacancies to fill in April.

It was agreed that advertising would start right away and that we would use social media as well as our traditional methods to seek out new candidates. The Trust is particularly looking for engineers, surveyors, project managers, lawyers and accountants to fill current skills gaps and to provide some succession planning.

Re-election of Directors

In accordance with the Harbour Revision Order, Paul Ingram, Eric Robertson and John Williams (who was co-opted midterm to fill a vacancy) will stand for re-election at the end of March.

Transitional arrangements

It was agreed that, with Steve’s departure, that John Williams would take the lead position in delivering the storage project. JW said that he would draw this project to a halt if there was not steady progress.

It was also agreed that Yvonne Wemyss would lead the Friends of Dunbar Battery team. John Band ex officio will retain his position looking after the Thelma Band Restricted Fund.

Tides and Times

It was agreed that a positive view would be taken of the 2021 event programme, in anticipation that the vaccination programme, combined with the warmer summer weather, will allow the Scottish Government to ease restrictions. RNLI Day will proceed as planned, unless it becomes clear that the restrictions on public meetings are still in force. Fundraising will begin for the tenth anniversary of Sparkling Dunbar which is planned for the end of August. Only the Tides and Times event will need to be postponed until 2022, and it may be possible to have a smaller lead-up event for this in late 2021. Outdoor theatre will be encouraged, and the Battery Theatre Group is keen to perform, as soon as the restrictions are lifted. It is also the intention that Dunbar Battery will be used for Civic Week if possible. These plans will be reviewed on a monthly basis in the light of Government guidelines.

What if

The Dunbar Harbour Trust is holding an informal event on Thurs 28th Jan 2021, from 7-8pm, to share its ‘What If’ aspirations. This event is part of the sustaining Dunbar’s series of community engagement events associated with the John Muir, Earth-Planet, Universe outdoor exhibition currently on display at the Dunbar Battery. The public is invited to register on:




9  Date of next meeting – Thursday 11th February 2021