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Minutes of a meeting of Directors held on Thursday 8th July 2021 

at Dunbar Battery



Alasdair Swan (Chair);  Paul Ingram; Kenny Maule;

David Nairn; Eric RobertsonYvonne Wemyss

Associate Director: John Band


Apologies: Alastair Cook; Dave Dunbar; Paddy Crerar; Tania King; 




1 Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 10th June 2021 were approved.

Matters completed –

  1. Notice board has been repaired, although some minor snagging is still needed.
  2. First P5 work of art is in place and the explanatory notice is on order.
  3. Fire policy has been reviewed and amended.
  4. Fire risk assessment has been updated.
  5. Emergency procedures have been reviewed.
  6. Safe refuges in McArthur’s Store have been considered – see Health & Safety section below
  7. Statutory accounts have been signed and lodged.
  8. Additional information for Land Extension Committee has been supplied to the committee by the Chairman.
  9. Open Doors Day submission has been sent in by AC.
  10. Harbour walkabout was completed as planned.
  11. The pole outside the Maggie’s Store has been removed to prevent people climbing onto the roof
  12. The Fishermen’s Monument planning application and Building Consent application has been registered, and funding for the project has been secured.
  13. Dunbar against litter notice proposal has been withdrawn
  14. Broadhaven slipway bollards project has been withdrawn, as the existing arrangement appears to be working well.

Matters still in progress –

  1. The lighthouse for donations. Micky Mcloughlin is coming up with a proposed design for the Board’s consideration.
  2. The Cromwell Harbour CCTV camera is still to be adjusted to include the monument.
  3. Skip management plan will be discussed further at the next DHMC
  4. The van has yet to be replaced. Prices are hot in the market. It was suggested that Kevin Thomson or Barry Buglass might be able to suggest possible people to approach for a sound secondhand pick-up.

2. Port Marine Safety Code

Incident Log Review

There was a recent incident when two young people got into trouble off the Dunbar Battery rocks. There was a harbour management team meeting going on at the time and fortunately James Bisset was able to rescue the young people.

It was noted that no-one inside the Battery was aware of the impending danger until one of the youths approached the Management Committee who were meeting inside the Battery to advise that the teenagers were in distress. Their shouts could not be heard from inside the Battery.

Members of the Management Committee then leaped into action to help.

The emergency procedure – namely to call 999 and inform the Coastguard – was not followed and it was agreed that it would have been better if it had been

The risk of secondary drowning was very real and indeed one of the young people was admitted briefly into Accident & Emergency to be checked over after the incident.

A discussion followed as to what preventative action could be taken and, despite the difficulty of retaining a life belt in a position to the northeast of the Battery it was agreed that one should be fitted, together with a sticker highlighting the dangers of being washed off the rocks.

It was not many years ago when an angler lost his life, drowned in a pool of water, after he had slipped on these rocks, with the accident being unnoticed by his colleagues who were just round the corner.

It was also noted that three oils spillages, dating back several months had been recorded in the Incident Log.

Risk Assessment Review

The following risks were assessed –

  1. Unexpected tidal conditions resulting in a collision with the quayside.
  2. Operational planning error resulting in grounding.
  3. A vessel unprepared to dock colliding with the quayside

No changes are to be made to these risk assessments.

Fire Risk Review

The report from the Fire Authorities dated 17th June 2021 has been circulated.

  1. Testing and maintenance – the fire warning system was tested earlier in the day and found to be working well. The test will be carried out monthly and recorded in the Board minutes.
  2. The emergency lights will be replaced as soon as any prove to be defective.
  3. Tenants will be reminded of their legal duty to brief any contractor or visitor to the store of the procedures designed for securing evacuation.
  4. Tenants will be reminded of the emergency procedures.
  5. Tenants will be reminded of the escape routes.
  6. Competent persons will inspect the electrical installations at least once per year.
  7. Means of escape – Tenants will be reminded of the need to arrange their stores so that there is free access in case of fire. This is not a general problem, but if such a situation is seen to exist, the Trust will write specifically to the tenant concerned.
  8. Corridors must be kept clear at all times. Tenants will be reminded of this obligation. The subject has been raised at the last Harbour Management Committee Meeting. It will be reviewed during the Harbour walkabouts.
  9. A clear diagrammatic representation (a Zone Plan) will be presented next to the Fire Alarm Panel.

3 Finance Report

A. June management accounts:

The June report had been circulated prior to the meeting.

  1. There was a Surplus of £1076 in the month of June.
  2. Landing dues were better in June than anticipated, given the dreadful May weather that prevented boats going out for part of the month.
  3. Launchings in June were again disappointing. 
  4. The maintenance costs were for Claymore Alarms work in McArthur’s Store.
  5. The repair costs related to the painting of the workshop and fuel store.
  6. The North Wall Art project is progressing well. The first piece has been placed in position; three more will follow in mid-July; the final work will be in place before the end of August, delayed by the Covid outbreak in the school.
  7. The credit control position is good. 
  8. The last VAT reclaim is still outstanding. Another claim is due now and, if this is held up, contact will be made with HMRC.

B. HMRC/ Gift Aid:

AS has been in touch with HMRC who state there is nothing wrong with the Harbour Trust Account. Yet Virgin Money Giving are not being allowed to transfer money to the Trust. Virgin Money Giving has promised to sort this out with HMRC on our behalf.

Virgin Money Giving may prove to be a useful channel for donations and campervan contributions, easy for users to access, and easy for the Trust to administer.

4. Harbour Management Committee

Applications for moorings

The recommendation of the HMC was accepted with regard to commercial vessels, viz.

  1. A boat must be in good condition and hold a MCA certificate.
  2. The purchaser must be qualified – (not discussed at the meeting, but the DHMC is invited to specify at its next meeting which qualifications a future owner must hold, so that the Trust is seen as being even-handed in considering this matter, and also to highlight if any of our existing owners do not hold these qualifications) and must hold relevant experience.
  3. The number of working boats in the harbour should be granted only if there is sufficient space.

It has already been agreed that there can be no more prawn boats because of the proliferation of potato boxes that are considered to be essential storage for these boats.

There can be no more creel boats in the harbour while the problem of creel storage remains unsolved.

Victoria Harbour mooring chain

A new chain could be procured for £25,000. 

It was agreed that the DHMC needs to work out a complete plan to address issues that include –

  1. How this chain would be laid and at what cost?
  2. Why this chain should be introduced into the harbour? It was pointed out that the Sailing Club introduced this chain as a “weight” and not as a conventional chain. As a weight, it appears to have decades of life ahead of it, as chains of this nature last for centuries under the sea. Especially because most of the chain is buried, it is very unlikely to be heavily corroded anyway, and when parts are exposed to the air it can visually be seen to be strong.
  3. There is no operational plan to go with the cost quote, but the idea appears to be to lay the new chain on top of the old chain. Explanations are needed as to why the introduction of two chains, where one previously existed, does not introduce new risks to the harbour. If the original chain is to be removed, the method and cost of doing this needs to be identified.
  4. Is this cost to be carried by way of supplementary mooring charge to the owners of the boats in Victoria Harbour? Are the owners happy that this is necessary?
  5. The most important consideration is that there are secondary chains that do need to be replaced. The scope, method and cost of replacing these needs to be quantified. If the chains lying outside the castle vaults are of no use for this purpose, consideration should be given as to why they have been procured, and whether they should be disposed of.

Harbour Bridge

The bridge is lifting at different speeds on either side. David Brady has reported that there is no electrical fault. MacScott Bond will be called in to investigate.

Dunbar Battery Garden

Rope paths are to be introduced to protect grant-funded planting.

Double yellow lines

The option of introducing double yellow lines at the entrance to Victoria Harbour has been taken up by Dave Anderson of the RNLI.

Dunbar Sea Cadets

There was a request that the Sea Cadets boats should be moved back to the Unit when not in regular use. They are currently full of water.

5. Land Extension Committee

A meeting has been set up with enjoyleisure for Thursday 22nd July when we will better understand that charity’s views on the land under the swimming pool.

6. Retail

Big Blu Sea hope to further extend opening hours week commencing 12th July, provided there are no exceptional circumstances which prevent planned opening.

Tasty Toastie

The Board agreed to the transfer of the Tasty Toastie from Rhona Bell to James & Cheryl Bisset.

7. Events

A. Tides & Times; A celebration of Dunbar Fishing

The preparations for this event are ongoing. A joint funding application between DHT and Paradise Palms will be made to the Dunbar Community Council for Community Windpower funding. A similar application will be made to Belhaven Brewery. Provisional dates have been booked with the Town House (ELC) for the talks and exhibitions.        

B. RNLI Lifeboat Day

The RNLI Lifeboat fete has been cancelled, with the main factors being the Covid measures needed to meet the requirements for social distancing and the safety of everyone involved. The RNLI have requested the use of the Battery to hold the crowning of the Lifeboat Queen. A summary proposal with details of the lead personnel, and a risk assessment have been requested.

C. Dunbar Music Festival

Dunbar Music Festival (DMF) continue to develop their proposal for a weekend event of music and performance. Discussions are taking place with ELC to obtain permission to hold this public event and a professional Health & Safety assessment has been commissioned. They have requested an extension to the hire, to manage the number of performers, whilst retaining a safe environment for all. 

The H&S officer has advised that the point of entry/ exit, with a relevant number of stewards, should be the south side of the bridge. Harbour users will require to be notified in advance to ensure business is not disrupted and safe access and egress for participants and visitors in the event that the bridge needs lifted. 

Dates: Thurs 2nd Sep – Sun 5th Sep.

DMF have been advised the deadline date for submission is no later than Weds 4th Aug to enable discussion at the DHMC at the meeting on 5th Aug and final approval of the Board on Thurs 12thAug. 

The Board approved the period of extension subject to receipt of ELC permission and a detailed risk assessment. 

D. Battery dates

Every Tues, 1-2pm – Fit Form UK

Every Weds 10-11am – Fit Form UK

Sat 31st July – Private event

Sat 4th June 2022 – Private event

8 Harbour Improvement plan

The next harbour walkabout will take place on Monday 30th August at 2pm. A report will be provided in advance of the next Board meeting. 

The following actions were agreed following the recent walkabout -

Enjoyleisure car park requires further attention (Items 6 and 7)

Vandalised Battery signage will be repaired and strengthened (Item 3)

Health & Safety items involving clear access will be addressed (Items 2,4,5 and 20) 

There was concern at the large number of creels still sitting on the quayside.  

(Items 1,2,4,5,8,10,11,14,18,20) With the increased number of new creels in the water there is going to be a storage problem in the autumn. This will link to David Dunbar’s creel storage plan, but in the meantime the DHMC will be invited to consider whether a “use it or lose it” approach should be taken to creels, with fishermen asked to remove all quayside creels before the end of September to store them off site (until they are needed in future years) to provide space for the active creels.

The yard outside the Maggie’s stores (Items 8 and 9) is being abused, and equipment dumped in the yard should either be placed in a store or removed. The yard is to be kept clear for Safety reasons.

The light outside McArthur’s store needs to be referred to David Brady for repair (Item 13)

A. Cromwell Harbour electrical point

This work has been commissioned but not yet actioned.

B. Fishermen’s Monument

The planning application and building consent application have been registered.

Grant funding has been secured.

Orders for the work have been placed

C. Maintenance Bay

Robin Hamilton has lodged a grant claim with Marine Scotland, together with a Blue Marine Business Plan

9  Any other competent business

Visibility of the Harbourmaster

It was noted that the Assistant Harbourmasters are clearly visible with their hi-vis jackets. It was recommended that the Harbourmaster follow suit.

Time of the Board Meeting

The current start time of 6:45 is an old throw-back to accommodate Directors who were coming off the Edinburgh train. Consultation will be started to see if there is a more suitable time for Directors to meet.

Date of next meeting – Thursday 12th August 2021