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DUNBAR HARBOUR TRUST

Minute of Directors’ Meeting held on Thursday 14 September 2017 In McArthur’s Stores, Dunbar at 18.45 Present: A. Swan (Chair); S. Anderson; B. Buglass; B. Fisher; P. Ingram (Treasurer); E. Robertson. Others present:  Q. Dimmer (Harbour Master); M Brown (Minutes)

1.Apologies:  J. Band; T. Band (Vice-chair); A. Brown; R. Hamilton; A. Mackie; K. Maule

2.Minutes of meeting of 10 August 2017 – Taken as a true record.

Matters arising: The purchase of a card reader to enable the Harbour Master to take credit card payments is still being explored and evaluated.  Eric will send a link for possible appropriate reader.  Terms and conditions to be checked.          

Eddie Ingle – A log is to be kept recording visits and any issues.  There had been a recent incident which involved a visit from Police Scotland.  The Interdict prohibits Eddie Senior from setting foot on harbour property in perpetuity. The Harbour Master will use his statutory powers to seize any Ingle boat if it is found trespassing at the Harbour. A large debt to the Harbour Trust from young Edward remains unpaid.

Civic Pride Grant – This had now been received.

Historic Environment Scotland grant for Dunbar Battery - Steve has secured 90% of the grant and is hoping for the balance of 10% before the end of the year.              

Bridge Maintenance – It was noted that there is now a proper register for bridge inspections. Quentin has recorded the inspections on 2 May and 13 July under PMSC/Harbour checks/Bridge maintenance/Maintenance Log. This will be the permanent record of bridge maintenance. The Harbour Master recommends that a quote be obtained for repainting the bridge before the winter, both to enhance its appearance and to protect it.  Quentin to get a quote for next meeting. 

3.Port Marine Safety Code and Health & Safety report: a. Incident Log review:  In an attempt to reinforce his advice regarding the dangers of youths “tombstoning” at the Harbour Quentin has spoken with some of their parents. Paul reported that there have been a number of incidents of stones being thrown onto tenders in Cromwell Harbour.

b. Risk Assessment Review:  - (P.I.):  Further amendments have been updated. After next month’s high level review there will be a return to the process of looking at three specific risks each month.

Alasdair noted that an assessment of risks needs to be made around the entrance to the castle vaults.

c. SMS Update:  Version 15 is the current version of the Harbour’s Safety Management System which has been recently reviewed and published internals.  The web site will be updated with the latest version.        

4. Finance Report:

a. August Report:  This had been circulated previously. Some grants were still outstanding. Fuel sales are up by 60% year-on-year. This is partly attributable to upward price movements in gas oil but, as with the increased level of the value of fish landed at Dunbar, is a reflection of a good fishing season. The boats have been able to get out to sea. Public Moorings are presently down from last year but this is expected to even itself out relatively soon. Retailers: - Laura Wilson has withdrawn because of lack of business. Current ownership of “Tasty Toastie” to be ascertained.     

b. Statutory Accounts update:- Whitelaw Wells has reached the stage of partner review, after which a set of accounts will be published for Board approval. These accounts will be circulated as soon as they become available with the view of formally approving them at the October Board meeting after which the accounts will be lodged at Companies House and with OSCR.

c. Retailer- Despite several reminders and a successful season at Dunbar Harbour, a retail licence fee has not been paid for the year. A 7 day letter will now be sent out before debt collection proceedings commence.           

d. Harbour charges 2018:- The proposed 3% increase in charges for 2018 was accepted. There has been a view expressed that while £43.79 per metre may be OK for a boat to use a mooring in the water for 12 months in the year £49.99 per metre is too low for a boat wanting to spend half the year in the water and half the year on the hardstanding. – The status quo was agreed. It was also suggested that the 12 metre maximum should be removed. The status quo was agreed and no change will be made for next year.

The final Harbour Charges schedule will be agreed next month, together with the Harbour Terms and Conditions.

5. Harbour Management Committee:

Waste disposal:- Quentin advised that there were now in the region of 20 drums of waste oil on the Harbour site. This was considered unacceptable, particularly as none of these were in bunds to contain any spillage. Eyemouth was mentioned a having a similar problem with waste oil, which they coped with through having a 1000 litre tank to accommodate the oil until it was filled to the extent that it would be economic for a recycling firm to collect. Quentin would investigate a double skinned tank to take our waste oil.           

Bridge maintenance: Quentin advised that work had been done to release the access plate and gain access to the grease nipples, which had been lubricated. He mentioned that the wheels were showing signs of rusting and that a suitable paint might arrest this. He has posted on Dropbox a record of the work he has done.

Unwanted rubbish: Quentin expressed concerns he had over the attitude towards the proper disposal of unwanted items either on the land or in the sea. It had been proposed that a circular should be sent out, perhaps with mooring applications, to emphasise these points.

Improved Landscaping: The DHMC felt that the small grass area under the Castle should be returned to what it was, namely a nice place for visitors to sit and enjoy the Harbour views. There were already benches there but these could hardly be seen far less used owing to the amount of weed growth surrounding.  Eric felt that a picnic table sited there would further enhance the area and perhaps some wild flowers. This project will be taken forward once Jimmy Wilson has scythed the area.    

Disabled car spaces: It was not felt that we should do anything at this stage about repainting these signs.

Boat parked on hard standing

It was felt that a charge should be made if the boat was to remain in its present location on the hard standing as others were paying for being accommodated there.  In the first instance Neil undertook to speak to the owner, to point out that his use of the space had been commented upon in Committee and give him the option to remove it or be subject to a charge. It was agreed that the owner will definitely be charged if he wishes to use the space next year.

6. McArthur’s Stores:

Rubbish in McArthur’s Stores -   It is the tenants’ responsibility to ensure that the corridors and public areas are kept clear of obstructions and, in particular, of any inflammable rubbish.  The Trust will once again write to all of the tenants on this subject.         

Rubbish around McArthur’s Stores:- There is no right to store any goods around the Store other than in the designated compound. Because of the lack of space around the Harbour it is accepted custom and practice that the fishermen should store creels and other materials outside the compound so long as they do so tidily, do not block access paths, stack creels against residents’ houses, or place creels in front of the interpretation panels.

Water supply to Fishermens’ stores: The investigation is now properly underway.

Lights in Fishermens’ stores: Bulbs have been ordered for these lights and spares are now kept in the Harbour Office.

Cleaning of McArthurs’ Stores: The cleaner comes twice per month and it will be easier for him to do his job effectively now that the corridors and public areas are kept clear.

Fire escape from McArthurs’ Stores: The fire escape routes are signposted with smoke detectors. There is a fire escape-route along a short corridor lit by emergency batteries in each light. All doors are official fire doors with a long fire hold-back time. There is no second means of escape. Therefore, the fire regulations require that these doors be kept closed at all times and they should never be propped open. Such action compromises the integrity of the fire safety of the building. Everyone in the building is familiar with the layout and means of escape. The tenants signed that they know all of the above and how to use extinguisher.  They passed the test. Any visiting crew are supposed to be briefed on the above. In order to keep the integrity of the fire arrangements, it is critical that no flammable rubbish is left in the public areas and that all corridors, stairs and public areas are kept absolutely  clear so that there are no obstacles should the building need to be evacuated in case of fire. There is a fire alarm. This is often set off by hot work which is specifically prohibited in the lease. This work should be undertaken in the hot work area in the compound. A letter will be sent to all tenants reminding them of the fire regulations.   

Use of the McArthurs’ Stores Meeting room:

The meeting room is partly a museum to allow people to see the history of McArthur’s Stores but mainly a community meeting room.  It has been used well by community groups and by the DFA as a meeting and training room this year, by various artists and by the Harbour Trust for its routine business.  It was never intended to be a working man’s mess room.

7. Matters raised by the Fishermen’s Association: On 22 August 2017 eight of the Trust Directors had met with representatives from the Fishermen’s Association. The following matters were raised at that meeting.

Eddie Ingle:

The Harbour Master’s safety and security is of the highest concern to the Harbour Trust. He has been advised to wear the personal CCTV camera, but prefers not to as he believes it sends out the wrong signals to other harbour users. Nevertheless, the DFA was very concerned about the false allegations that had been made against him and is keen to see the Trust taking some action. The Harbour Master has asked to be given time to work out the next steps to come to some amicable and positive solution.

Area under the Castle:

The DFA has explained that this litter problem has not been created by members of the Association. The Harbour Master is organising clearance of this area with the person who has created the problem.

Small boat laid up

The Harbour Master is encouraging the owner to launch his boat without further delay and to clear away the creels at the same time to allow proper access to the end of the harbour. This will enable the Trust to clear and develop the bank and its seating.

Pontoons:

In order to attract funding it will be necessary to justify the Victoria Harbour pontoon as being a facility that will make access to their boats easier for leisure users and will also encourage the young to take up water sports, primarily sailing and rowing. In contrast, Cromwell Harbour pontoon will need to be justified as being needed for commercial use, primarily to moor the smaller fishing boats to allow the larger ones safe and unhindered shelter in Cromwell Harbour where necessary.

Toilets:

It was noted that the DFA is among the many groups that use the harbour who would appreciate a proper toilet facility.

Mess room for the fishermen: 

Creation of such facility will require someone to give up their storage space so the Trust will write out to all of the tenants to find out who would be willing to do this. The Trust may then need to employ an architect if structural changes are required, and Historic Environment Scotland and the fire authorities will need to approve such changes. The Trust would then be in a position to get some costs, after which it will need the tenants’ agreement to a further rent increase to recover whatever the additional costs may be. The original design of the building was put together after consultation with the fishermen about their requirements. The demand for a mess room is relatively new.

Disposal of Waste oil:

It is the responsibility of each business to clear its own waste oil. The Harbour Trust has always endeavoured to facilitate this process and the Harbour Master is currently working with Viridor to find a solution for the fishermen.

Harbour clearance:

The Harbour Master will organise a date for a harbour clearance and will post the details on Facebook to invite volunteers to help. It was authorised to order a skip for that date so that the rubbish can be removed from site quickly and effectively. This may be an opportunity to remove old tyres from around the harbour at the same time.

Second oil tank:

The Trust has looked at the cost of installing a second fuel tank which would be of the order of £10,000. Filling the tank would cost a further £4,000. Since the current tank was installed there has only been one stock-out, and this one case would have been avoided if the Harbour Master’s advice had been taken.  The investment of £14,000 would therefore have been a complete white elephant for all these years. The extra tank would never have been used. It is unlikely to be used going forward. It has been pointed out that the fleet size is increasing but most of the new boats have relatively small fuel demands and will be able to help by refuelling during the week, reducing the pressure at the weekend when the boats traditionally like to fill up. The oil companies do not deliver on Saturdays and Sundays. There are sometimes 2 deliveries each week, but usually there is only 1.  Clearly the capability of the existing tank can be greatly increased by taking more frequent deliveries.  There is no pressure or need to take these additional, even daily, deliveries at the moment but this will be the first solution before investing in a second tank. At the same time, should pressure on supply build over the weekend, the education of commercial users to draw fuel earlier in the week whenever possible will ease any problem. A second tank would make more sense if it were to be used for a higher grade, higher priced fuel. The costs of this project would increase significantly as a new Fuel Management system and hose would be required. There is insufficient demand at the moment to justify this investment and it would also conflict with the DFA’s request for increased stock of the current gas oil.

8. Projects:

Castle vault entrance: 

It was agreed to obtain a plan and costings for the provision of a gate for access.  

9. Harbour Improvement Plan:

a. Toilets:  The provision of toilet facilities will need to meet the requirements of a marine  environment as well as minimising the interference to the residents of Yellow Craig – the preferred site. Sketches have been produced which incorporates 3 large, accessible cubicles and we will seek to obtain quotes on this basis and report back.     

b. & c. Pontoons – Victoria & Cromwell:  Marine Scotland has been approached for funding for the latter, together with Maintenance Bay and the Branders. MS staff are deeply involved with trying to work out Brexit implications, a task that is affecting their current workload. Competitive quotes will be sought to ascertain the affordability of these projects

d. Maintenance Bay:   Ongoing.        

e. Branders: Ongoing.          

10. Friends of Dunbar Battery:  Snagging work is ongoing. A number of possible events are in the pipeline. The next meeting will take place before the end of the year.

It was reported that Lamer Island Battery has been entered into the Civic Trust Awards by Rankin Fraser, Landscape Architecture.  The Assessment Visit will take place on Wednesday 4 October 2017 at 11.45 a.m. An application for funding from the Alexander Amos Charitable Trust is being prepared– deadline 30 September 2017.          

11. Any other competent business:-

a. Open Day – This will take place on 23 September 2017.

b. Quentin was having a problem obtaining insurance documents/certificates from some harbour users.

c. Paul said that the Sea Cadets were selling a rib and looking for a prospective buyer.

d. Date of next meeting: Thursday 12 October 2017 at 18.45.

The meeting closed at 20.55 p.m.                                                                                                          

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