Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Mallandain Room, Whitstable Castle, Tower Hill, Whitstable

Contact: Vanessa Montgomery  01227 862 009, Email: democracy@canterbury.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

474.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Watkins. 

 

475.

Substitute Members (Councillors)

Minutes:

There were no substitutes for the meeting.

 

476.

Declaration of interests by Board members and officers

TO RECEIVE any declarations for the following in so far as they relate to the business for the meeting:-

 

a.         Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

b.         Other Significant Interests (what were previously thought of as non-pecuniary Prejudicial interests)

c.         Voluntary Announcements of Other Interests

 

Voluntary Announcements of Other Interests not required to be disclosed as DPI’s or OSI’s, ie announcements made for transparency reasons alone, such as:

           Membership of outside bodies that have made representations on agenda items, or

           Where a Councillor knows a person involved, but does not have a close association with that person, or

           Where an item would affect the well-being of a Councillor, relative, close associate, employer, etc but not his/her financial position.

 

[Note: an effect on the financial position of a Councillor, relative, close associate, employer, etc; OR an application made by a Councillor, relative, close associate, employer, etc, would both probably constitute either an OSI or in some cases a DPI].

 

Minutes:

The following voluntary announcements were made: 

 

  • Councillor I Thomas was a Kent County Council councillor. He was a member of the Planning Committee and Regeneration and Property Committee at Canterbury City Council and the Planning Committee at Kent County Council. He was also a member of the Essex and Kent Inshore Fisheries Coastal Committee.
  • Paul Moore was an ordinary member of Whitstable Yacht Club
  • Peter Steen was a member of Whitstable Maritime and was employed by the Port of London Authority.
  • Councillor Todd made a voluntary announcement that he was a member of Whitstable Yacht Club and Whitstable Canoe Club

 

477.

Public Participation

Provided that notification has been given to Democratic Services by 12.30pm on the working day before the meeting, members of the public may speak on any item on the agenda for a maximum of three minutes.

Minutes:

There was one registered speaker regarding Item 11 Review of Harbour Charges.  It was agreed the public speaker would be heard directly before the item. 

 

478.

Minutes of the meeting held on 13 September 2019 pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To confirm as a true record the minutes of the meeting held on 13 September 2019

Minutes:

The minutes were agreed as a true record. 

 

479.

South Quay Shed Management Options Update

TO NOTE the verbal update from Principal Maritime Engineer.

Minutes:

Paul Moore updated the Board on the work of  the South Quay Working Group. He confirmed the group met in early October and outlined the terms of reference of the working group. He explained the South Quay Shed (SQS) project is currently running on time and on budget, ready for a late spring/early summer opening. 

 

He explained the potential for solar panels was discussed after a steer from the Board that confirmed these should be explored. The working group recommended that the first phase of the programme in investment of Solar PV cells should be incorporated into the design and works programme.  

 

He informed the Board that the working group discussed officer capacity needed to cover the SQS to make it a success. Discussions had suggested that this could be achieved internally at Canterbury City Council but if this was not possible it would advertised on the open market.

 

The Principal Maritime Engineer then updated the Board on the progress of the SQS build. He explained we had entered into negotiations with the neighbouring restaurant to secure the land spot.  A request had been made for the council to manage the transition for them which had been agreed.

 

He also updated the Board that after consultation with the Fire Brigade it has been agreed an external consultant will prepare a fire strategy for the SQS.

 

The Board NOTED the verbal update. 

 

480.

Harbour Pontoon options pdf icon PDF 100 KB

TO CONSIDER the report from the Director of Finance and Procurement.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Harbour Master introduced the report which updated the Board on the management of the pontoon over the last year and outlined options for its future management. 

 

The Board asked questions and the Harbour Master gave clarification where necessary, the following points were made:

 

  • A question was raised regarding the booking office for the pontoon and if it could be ensured it remained purely for that purpose and not be permitted to sell any other goods. It was confirmed this would form part of the lease and could be enforced by the harbour team. 
  • It was clarified the pontoon lease would cover a three year period but that the charges would be subject to annual review as part of the Harbour Charges. 
  • The Greta berthing at the pontoon was not an option as it struggles to berth there, however there had been a substantial redesign to the quay ladder to make it easier for the public to board the Greta. 
  • An accessibility option would be added to the procurement grid requirements appendix.
  • The requirement on the procurement options that states “Does the applicant have a satisfactory financial record with CCC” should be amended to state “Does the applicant have a satisfactory financial record” as it was noted the applicant may not have financial history with the council. 

 

The Board were asked to consider three options detailed in the report:

1) To allocate berths with a view to maximising income 

2) To apply a fixed rate to remove ‘income generation’ from the allocation process 

3) Not to allocate berths. 

 

Option 2 was proposed, seconded and when put to vote unanimously agreed. 

 

RESOLVED: That the Director of Finance and Procurement advertises the offer of three berths on the pontoon on the open market at a fixed rate  (subject to annual review of the Harbour Charges) for the next three year period and will agree in consultation with the Harbour Master the criteria for selection. To consent to the grant of leases to the operators for an area of the quay to be used as a ticket office. 

 

Reason for the decision: The pontoon has wider benefits to the Harbour than just the ability to generate income and option two meets these requirements. 

Record of the voting:

 

For (10): Baker, Caffery, Cornell, Dixey, I.Thomas, Todd, Watkins, Budden, Moore and Steen.

Against (0): None 

Abstained (0): None

 

481.

Whitstable Harbour Board - Business Plan pdf icon PDF 80 KB

TO NOTE the report from the Principal Maritime Engineer.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Principal Maritime Engineer introduced the business plan and explained that it is proposed that both the strategic plan and business plan be realigned to combine both documents into one.  

 

The Board asked questions and the Principal Maritime Engineer gave clarification where needed, the following points were made:

 

  • Whitstable Harbour Board had not borrowed money for over ten years and this was a tribute to the way the harbour had been managed. 
  • There were a number of operators within the Harbour Zone D that hold long leases but were not harbour dependant or beneficial, it was confirmed that new leases were required to be harbour dependant or beneficial. 
  • Quay maintenance was a large expenditure and allowed for the replacement of fenders in the quay, however microbiological erosion issues needed to be addressed immediately if discovered.. 
  • Staffing cost for South Quay Shed would be classified as revenue cost. 
  • Officers were commended for their hard work on the business development plan.
  • Alternative funding streams could be explored by the South Quay Working Group.
  • Clarification was given regarding how capital estimates were reached for the cockel shed and microgeneration figures, these are reviewed nearer the time but aid future planning. 
  • The harbour must retain officer capacity which will be required for security in the future

 

The Board were being asked to consider the following options in the report:

  1. To adopt the business plan for the three year period. To review the plan in 2022 to enable it to be aligned with the Strategic Plan review. 
  2. Not to adopt the plan and request a revised draft but still base dont he three year plan 
  3. Not to adopt the plan and request a revised draft for a five year term.

 

Option 1 was proposed, seconded and when put to vote unanimously agreed.

 

RESOLVED: That the Board adopt the proposed 2019-2022 Business Development Plan and agree a review is incorporated within the 2022 Strategic Plan Review. 

 

Reason for the decision: The proposed plan is based on the previous plan but with the inclusion of the anticipated quay maintenance expenditure and more specific development opportunities on the South Quay over the next three years. Alignment of dates will will avoid any conflicts with the Strategic Plan.

 

Record of the voting: 

 

For (10): Baker, Caffery, Cornell, Dixey, I.Thomas, Todd, Watkins, Budden, Moore and Steen.

Against (0): None 

Abstained (0): None

 

482.

Whitstable Harbour draft 2020/21 capital programme and revenue projections pdf icon PDF 134 KB

TO CONSIDER the report of the Director of Finance and Procurement.

 

Minutes:

The Head of Finance introduced the report that outlined the projections for 2020/21. The Board asked questions and the Head of Finance gave clarification when needed, the following points were discussed: 

 

  • The Board agreed by general assent that the Harbour Master explores the cost to extend the Seasonal Port Attendants schedule from a seasonal basis to all year round and implement changes if the finances are agreed with Harbour Board Officers. 
  • The Budget would be under consultation and will return with any amendments to the Board in January.
  • Credit interest was received at the overnight bank rate which was included in the budget, and was managed within the daily cash flow. 
  • The process by which the Whitstable Harbour Board profits were managed were within the Council budgets. 
  • Funding from the Environment Agency for quay repairs had not been predicted and had aided profits.
  • It was clarified that all assets incur depreciation but not while the asset was under construction. 

 

The Board NOTED the 2021/2022 budget.

 

It was proposed, seconded and when put to vote unanimously agreed that the Board recommends the draft 2020/2021 budget and capital budget be approved and be included in the Councils revenue budget. 

 

RECOMMENDED (the Policy and Resources Committee): 

 

(a) That the draft 2020/21 budget be approved to be included in the Council’s revenue budget. 

(b) That the draft 2020/21 capital budget be approved to be included in the Council’s revenue budget. 

(c) That the 2020/21 budget estimates be noted.

 

Reason for the decision: The Harbour Master, Harbour Board Lead Officer, Estates Officers and Harbour Board away day have contributed to the assumptions within the capital budget estimates.

 

Record of the voting: 

For (10): Baker, Caffery, Cornell, Dixey, I.Thomas, Todd, Watkins, Budden, Moore and Steen.

Against (0): None 

Abstained (0): None

 

483.

Budget Monitoring 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 85 KB

TO NOTE the report of the Director of Finance and Procurement.

Minutes:

Then the Head of Finance introduced the report which outlined the harbour’s revenue budget forecast outturn position for 2019-20. 

 

The Board NOTED the report.

484.

Review of Harbour Charges 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 77 KB

TO CONSIDER the report of the Harbour Master.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Prior to consideration of the report one public speaker Graham West was heard, representing the Whitstable Fisherman's Association) 

 

The Harbour Master introduced the report which provided information relating to the proposed Schedule of Charges for 2020/2021. The report had been forwarded to Brett Aggregates and Whitstable Fisherman Association for information and comment. 

 

The schedule of charges would be included in the draft budget proposals for the Council with a view to them being implemented on 1 April 2020. Therefore any changes made in this item should be reflected in the draft 2020/2021 budgets and projection recommendations and be fed into the budget consultation process.

 

The Board members made comments and the Harbour Master gave clarification where needed. The following points were covered:

 

  • Concerns were raised that any increase in charges for the Fisherman could damage their livelihood and industry.
  • The Board supported the fishing industry and harbour based activity. 
  • The Fisherman were currently experiencing other external outside pressures, including the uncertainty of Brexit
  • The financial impact to the Harbour if the Annual Dues for Fishing vessels was retained for another year would be minimal.  
  • A standardised increase per annum such as Retail Price Index (RPI) could be considered for future increases, this was practiced at the Port of London Authority. 
  • Beach Hut rental increases were based upon maintenance required for the coming year and were originally set when built through market testing and competitive tendering. 
  • The remaining proposal of charges were fair and supported by the Board. 
  • The proposed charges were part of the budget consultation which would be published as it is currently and any changes would be reported back to the Board at the next meeting when the consultation had closed. 

 

It was proposed, seconded and carried that the schedule of charges be approved except for the Fishing Vessels and commercial work boats annual due (permanent berth) that should remain at the current rate for the next year and to alter the draft budget accordingly. 

 

RESOLVED: That the schedule of charges be approved except for the Fishing Vessels and commercial work boats annual due (permanent berth) that should remain at the current rate for the next year and to alter the draft budget accordingly. 

 

Reason for the decision: To help protect and show support for the Fishery Industry who are struggling with other financial increases.

 

Record of the voting:

For (5): Baker, Caffery, Cornell, Moore, Steen 

Against (0): None

Abstain (5): Dixey, Thomas, Todd, Watkins, Budden

 

485.

Port Manager and Harbour Master's Report pdf icon PDF 73 KB

TO CONSIDER the report from the Port Manager and Harbour Master.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Councillor Dan Watkins left the meeting at the commencement of this item)

 

The Chairman introduced the report which updated the Board on a range of matters including harbour operations, publicity and general port marine issues. 

 

A discussion was had regarding storage of the Gamecock on the East Quay for maintenance. It was made clear to the Board there would be no charge for this but was beneficial to the activity of the Harbour. 

 

It was proposed, seconded and when put to vote unanimously agreed that the Board give authority for the Harbour Master to explore the possibility to to store the Gamecock on the East Quay without charge and proceed if he deems it suitable plus implement any terms and conditions he feels are necessary. 

 

RESOLVED: That the the Board give authority for the Harbour Master to explore the possibility to to store the Gamecock on the East Quay without charge and proceed if he deems it suitable plus implement any terms and conditions he feels are necessary. 

 

Reason for the decision: There would be no cost to the Harbour and would be of interest to visitors to the Harbour. 

 

A point was then raised that an information board that had been removed due to perishing should be replaced with immediate effect. 

 

It was proposed, seconded and when put to vote unanimously agreed that the information Board be reinstated.

 

RESOLVED: That the information Board in the Harbour be reinstated.

 

Reason for the decision: Funds could be made available for the reinstatement of the board and it was of educational importance to the Harbour.

 

Record of the voting:

For (9): Baker, Caffery, Cornell, Dixey, I.Thomas, Todd , Budden, Moore and Steen.

Against (0): None 

Abstained (0): None

 

The Board NOTED the report.

 

486.

Harbour Action Plan pdf icon PDF 48 KB

TO NOTE

Minutes:

The Board NOTED the action plan

487.

Date of next meeting

3pm, Friday 17 January 2020.

Minutes:

3pm, Friday 17 January 2020 in the Mallandian Room, Whitstable Castle.. 

 

488.

Any other urgent business to be dealt with in public

Minutes:

There was no urgent business to be heard 

 

489.

Exclusion of the press and public

TO RESOLVE – That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act or the Freedom of Information Act or both.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act or the Freedom of Information Act or both.

 

490.

Property Action Plan Updates

TO NOTE

 

The action plan updates the Board on ongoing tenant related matters, for example lease negotiations. The Property department act as landlord on behalf of the Board and so manage the tenants and leases directly. Where any decisions by the Board are required a separate item will be listed on the agenda accompanied by a formal report to inform the decision(s).

 

(The action plan contains information the disclosure of which is likely to prejudice the commercial interest of both the Council and other bodies (s. 43 Freedom of Information Act 2000). The Council considers that at present the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing it. Paragraph 3 of schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 also applies.)

Minutes:

(Councillor Cornell left the meeting at the commencement of this item)

 

The Board discussed an item on the Property action plan and NOTED the plan. 

 

491.

Any other business which falls under the exempt provisions of the Local Government Act 1972 or the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or both

Minutes:

There was no urgent business to be heard.