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Minutes of a meeting of Directors held on Thursday 12th August 2021 

at Dunbar Battery

 

Directors:

Alasdair Swan (Chair); Alastair Cook; Dave Dunbar;  Paul Ingram; Kenny Maule;

David Nairn; Eric RobertsonYvonne Wemyss; John Williams

Associate Director: John Band

 

Apologies: Harbourmaster

 

 

Item

1 Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 8th July 2021 were approved.

Matters completed –

  1. The order for the harbour notice board signs has been placed.
  2. Fire warning test has been completed today. All is in order.
  3. Tenants have been reminded of their legal duty to brief any contractor or visitor to the store of the procedures designed for securing evacuation.
  4. Tenants have been reminded of the emergency procedures.
  5. Tenants have been reminded of the escape routes.
  6. Means of escape – Tenants have been reminded of the need to arrange their stores so that there is free access in case of fire. 
  7. Tenants have been reminded of the obligation to keep corridors clear at all times.
  8. The Sea Cadet boats have been emptied of water and are currently in use.
  9. A meeting with enjoyleisure took place on Thursday 22nd July when the Trust exchanged views with enjoyleisure on the land under the swimming pool.
  10. Enjoyleisure car park was tidied up by the harbourmaster.
  11. The light outside McArthur’s store has been referred to David Brady for repair.
  12. Vandalised Battery signage has been repaired and strengthened

Matters still in progress-

  1. The lighthouse for donations has been built. It now waits to be painted before it is installed.
  2. The Cromwell Harbour CCTV camera is still to be adjusted to include the monument.
  3. Skip management plan from the DHMC is still awaited.
  4. The van has yet to be replaced. 
  5. Lifebelt is to be fitted to the northeast of the Battery, together with a sticker highlighting the dangers of being washed off the rocks.
  6. The last VAT reclaim is still outstanding. HMRC has been contacted and a letter sent to demonstrate that the loss of information is in the HMRC system, as the Trust holds a receipt to show that all of the information was transmitted. The correct information has been re-submitted to HMRC but, to date, there has been no response from HMRC. To be followed up again.
  7. A complete plan to address Victoria Harbour Mooring Chain issues is to be prepared by DHMC. 
  8. Rope paths are to be introduced to protect grant-funded planting.

It was noted with regret that Paddy Crerar had decided to leave the Board and his resignation has now been recorded at Companies House. Paddy has been thanked for his contribution to the work of the Trust.

2. Port Marine Safety Code

Incident Log Review

There are no recent incidents to report. There may have been a near miss of a grounding at the harbour entrance yesterday, but the fishermen know the risks they are taking when they attempt to enter the harbour at the wrong state of the tide. There was no damage incurred and the boat eventually entered the harbour safely.

Risk Assessment Review

The following risks were assessed –

  1. Collision resulting in a loss of product overboard
  2. Collision resulting in a fire or explosion
  3. Collision resulting in a sinking
  4. Collision resulting in injury to swimmers

No changes are to be made to these risk assessments.

Fire Risk Review

The fire alarm was tested today and found to be in good working order.

Annual davit (crane) inspection

This inspection has been completed and remedial action has been taken.

Fire extinguishers

The annual inspection will take place this month.

Port Marine Safety Code external audit

Arrangements are being mad with the Designated Person for this audit to be completed in the near future.

3 Finance Report

A. July management accounts:

The July report had been circulated prior to the meeting.

  1. July produced a small surplus of £1.6k.
  2. The landings, a key measure of the financial health of our fishing industry, were up 44% in the month and are up 63% on a year-to-date basis. There was a discussion as to whether this was a reflection on the volume of catch or the price of lobsters, and it was concluded that the significant increase in the number of creels in the water was resulting in more produce being landed than ever before. Prices had not been particularly strong this year.
  3. Fuel drawings also reflect a good level of commercial activity.
  4. Visitor moorings were similar to last July but are well up on a year-to-date basis.
  5. Launching fees are at the same level as last year, slightly disappointingly as we were in lock-down for much of this period last year. Hopefully the new donation box will help to remedy this situation. The view was expressed that too many launchings are taking place without an annual permit where no attempt is made to ask for the launching fee.
  6. Waste disposal costs are 77% higher than last year.
  7. Project costs have all been grant funded, and include work on –
    1. North Wall Art
    2. Fishermen’s Monument
    3. Coastal Garden
  8. The maintenance costs in the month were for the servicing of the davits, the spraying of the weeds, and the sweeping of the piers.

4. Harbour Management Committee

Harbour Bridge

MacScott Bond will be phoned to arrange for an engineer to come out to sort out the uneven performance of the two leaves of the bridge.

Creel storage

Dave Dunbar circulated a map that showed the pressure that is on the harbour to accommodate all of the creels that are currently in the water. The problem has been created by the large number of creels purchased with Windpower money.

The matter is being addressed by the DHMC and guidance is being sought from the fishermen on the committee.

However, it was agreed that no emergency roads or paths should be compromised by the storage of creels and any creels blocking these areas will be removed and disposed of by the Harbour Trust. A map showing these areas will be prepared for the next DHMC meeting.

It was also agreed that every pile of creels must have a marker buoy (or similar label) to indicate which boat the creels belong to. Any unmarked creels will be disposed of by the Harbour Trust.

Next year’s charges will include a surcharge for the creel boat owners to recover the costs of the disposal of any abandoned creels. This will not be necessary if the fishermen come up with their own plan to store their creels in the permitted places and, if the number of creels exceeds the capacity of the harbour to accommodate them, determine which creels should be stored off site in a manner that is equitable to all.

5 Retail and events

Retail waste

This is now all being disposed of off-site.

Dunbar Music Festival

2nd to 5th September

Audiences have increased to 90 per performance (subject to ELC approval).

A risk assessment has been received

An article in the Courier will appear next week.

Volunteers are requested to put their names forward.

COP26

Suzie Goodwin has asked to organize a lighting of a beacon on Harbour Trust property to mark COP26. This idea will be supported, but only if the event is consistent with COP26 and is not in itself a pollutant.

2022 celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee

Dunbar Harbour Trust will participate and host any such celebrations as may be determined in due course.

Dunbar Battery electrical point

The stage mounted electrical points do not function satisfactorily. It was agreed to introduce surface mounted electrical points at the back of the stage.

Vault key

A key has been lost. It was agreed, on safety grounds, that the lock should be changed.

Retail charges

David Nairn will lead a small group to come up with a recommendation for the retail charge-out rates for next year, based on sq footage and the nature of the pitch (whether prime or otherwise).

6 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. 

A. Development Committee

A remit will be sent to members of the Development committee (DN, AC, TK) which will include the drawing up of a plan to submit to enjoyleisure after our October Meeting on the possible use of the site above the castle vaults for charitable activities, and ideas as to how the trust might move to support Marine Tourism at Dunbar.

B. Toilets

Alastair Cook asked for his views to be recorded formally as follows:

I’m yet to receive the requested information from DHT that there is a defined need, given the proliferation of toilets available in the local area. Fellow director Eric Robertson illustrated the previous discussions comprehensively, but the defined need is as yet unanswered, except by the exasperating and oft repeated statement “we all agree we need toilets on the harbour” - we do not all agree.

- With regard to provision for fishermen, are we able to further investigate McArthur’s becoming formally accessible to all the fishermen? The board has a director with the skills and experience to undertake this - and I have offered my professional services in this regard without reply.

- With regard to the public, are we as a board openly stating that the award winning East Lothian (fully managed) toilet just past the pool is insufficient for the public? Also, it has been openly discussed that there is no management plan for DHT’s proposed facilities.

- Were the toilet to be constructed in this proposed position, is the DHT satisfied that it cannot in any sense be held liable for negative impact on property values in the harbour? If so, who has provided this advice and what are their professional qualifications and can it be submitted to the board for review?”

The Board considered whether there was a defined need and, in addition to the records of past User Meetings and the published Harbour Improvement Plans, there was also a formal survey conducted in 2005 by Topline which confirmed the need. By a majority vote, the board concluded that there was a need for toilets at the harbour. The minority pointed out that there were excellent public toilets at the end of the High Street which are available during some of the hours of need.

The Board determined that the Trust should apply for an extension to the existing planning permission for toilets at the South Pier, but only after informal discussions had taken place with the Planning Department to see whether they would give us more time anyway, and after consideration as to whether the existing plan could be improved to be more robust and clearly defined.

Robin Hamilton is trying to identify contractors who might be willing to work on the South Pier Project. It was agreed that no decision could be made on the South Pier project until the specification and costing was complete, and that it would be useful to complete these discussions with a preferred contractor.

It was agreed that the Trust will wait for the response from enjoyleisure before considering whether to apply for planning permission for a possible solution for toilets above the Harbour Trust land.

It was agreed that the Trust will consider where to locate hired toilets in 2022 if no other solution is forthcoming.

Before any toilets are introduced into the area there is a drainage problem to the south of the harbour. On behalf of the community it is important that Scottish Water identifies the root cause of the problem as this will have an important impact on any toilet project which may be selected. This should be the responsibility of Scottish Water and enquiries will be made as to how quickly SW will respond, given that there was a recent spillage of waste in the area.

C. Cromwell Harbour electrical point

Work has begun on this improvement.

D. Fishermen’s monument

Work is underway on this improvement. The hardstanding is being installed by AG Thomson, the bench is on order and the Ridge will be undertaking the new painting and re-pointing. Planning permission and listed building consent have been received.

9  Any other competent business

Big Belly bins

It was agreed that more Big Belly bins on the South Side of the harbour would improve the environment.

A map showing the desired positions will be drawn up.

ELC will then be consulted and grant funding will be sought, though it is probable that this will need to be a phased programme.

Craning in Day

1st October 2021

A refund to Big Blu will be organised as the unit will need to be removed before the end of September.

Launching fees

There was concern expressed that too many people who clearly do not have annual permits are launching without paying fees.

Campervans

Some campervan visitors, but not many, are beginning to pay their parking fees.

Dunbar Castle

James Bruhn of Historic environment Scotland is hoping to help us to organize a survey of the castle before February when the kittiwakes return

Promotional leaflets

It was agreed that leaflets promoting the activities of the harbour should be produced for next season.

Homarus

Homarus is up for sale and is due to come out of the water over the winter, to be placed on the hard standing at Cromwell Harbour. Concern was expressed that these arrangements have become permanent in the past, and a letter will be sent to the owner to discover what his intentions are if the boat is not sold quickly.

Date of next meeting – Thursday 10th September  2021 in McArthur’s Store

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