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Minutes of a meeting of Directors held on Thursday 10th June 2021 

at Dunbar Battery

 

Directors:

Alasdair Swan (Chair);  Dave Dunbar; Paul Ingram; Tania King; 

Eric RobertsonYvonne Wemyss; 

 

Apologies: Alastair Cook; Paddy Crerar; Kenny Maule; David Nairn;

 

 

Item

1 Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 13th May 2021 were approved.

Matters completed –

  1. The electric cables outside the cold store have been covered.
  2. The trailers under the Maggie have been removed.
  3. A meeting with a toilet block manufacturer was held as planned.
  4. The Land Extension Committee was set up and met.
  5. Organisation of Open Doors Day is under way.
  6. Broadhaven wall repairs have been completed

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. Inspection of mooring chains project.
  4. Skip management plan will be discussed further at the next DHMC

2. Port Marine Safety Code

Incident Log Review

The harbour master reported that youths were using the net drying poles to climb up on top of the roofs of the new stores under the Maggie. He recommended that the relevant pole should be removed. Although there had been demand for these poles the harbourmaster was unconvinced that there was any significant use of them. The recommendation was accepted and will now be actioned.

Following the recent visit of the Fire Authorities to McArthur’s Store, the fire risk assessment was reviewed and updated, together with the fire policy and emergency procedures.  The major risk to be addressed is the blocking of the corridor with tenants’ equipment and creels, and work will be done to improve procedures for those who might find it difficult to evacuate the building in a hurry. Safe refuges are to be identified.

Risk Assessment Review

The following risks were assessed –

  1. Unexpected wind strength and direction resulting in grounding. 
  2. Unexpected wind strength and direction resulting in collision. 
  3. Unexpected tidal conditions, including swell, resulting in grounding. 

No changes are to be made to these risk assessments.

3 Finance Report

A. May management accounts:

The May report had been circulated prior to the meeting.

  1. There was a Surplus of £1958 in the month of May.
  2. We are receiving some useful income from the hire of Dunbar Battery.
  3. The extended retail offering has also boosted income.
  4. Landing dues were strong in May, reflecting the value of fish landed in April. However, May’s fuel sales were very low, as a result of the dreadful weather, so we expect June’s landing income to be low because of the reduced activity.
  5. Launchings in May were a disappointing £100, again reflecting the bad weather.
  6. There was a gain on the sale of the old van of £150.
  7. The grant received of £500 is for the North Wall Art project. Some of May’s surplus needs to be reserved for this purpose. This project is progressing well.
  8. The credit control position is good and the harbourmaster will help to chase up any late payments of mooring fees.
  9. The cash position is being re-established, partly as a result of our inability to deliver some of our planned projects. There would be more cash in the bank if HMRC had repaid the last quarter’s VAT claim which is unusually late in being paid.

B. Replacement van:

The market for secondhand vans is proving to be difficult. It was agreed that a pick-up truck will be more useful for the harbourmaster and the Board will adjust the budget once an appropriate van has been sourced.

C. Year-end accounts

The statutory accounts for the year ended 31st March 2021 have been independently examined. The Board authorised the Chairman to sign the accounts on behalf of the Trust and these will now be lodged with Companies House and OSCR.

4. Harbour Management Committee

Harbour wall survey

This has been commissioned under the guidance of Robin Hamilton. Arch Henderson will do the work to ensure consistency of approach. An application is being made to Marine Scotland for funding to help with the wall repairs.

Wall paintings and drawings

Artwork on the North Wall was discussed in the context of chalk drawings to celebrate Pride month. It was decided to stick to the agreed plan of using the North Wall to exhibit the paintings of the Primary 5 children (an example of which was circulated at the meeting) and to hold a competition for an Adult painter to exhibit at the start of the 2022 season.  The plan would be to have an adult exhibition between April and June each year, followed by a Primary 5 exhibition between July and September. Thereafter, overtopping becomes a regular issue for any artwork.  The offer of chalk drawings will be politely declined. 

Smart meters

Smart meters are to be installed on 11th June in the Harbourmaster’s Office and on the South Pier.

Dunbar against litter notice

A Dunbar against litter notice has been submitted for consideration by Zero Waste. It was suggested that the Harbour Trust logo should be added to any such notice and that the matter should be referred to Yvonne to ensure that it is consistent with the Trust’s policy.

Double yellow lines

The option of introducing double yellow lines at the entrance to Victoria Harbour will be discussed with East Lothian Council.

Bollards by the Broadhaven slipway

A proposal is being developed to introduce better bollards to separate off visitors who are using the retail sites from passing traffic. The RNLI will be involved to ensure that they are comfortable with any such proposal.

Fisher Lassie

Gordon Easingwood is retiring. Fisher Lassie is to be sold and an application from a new owner will be put before the Management Committee in due course.

5. Land Extension Committee

The Land Extension Committee has met, not always together, and early thoughts were tabled at the meeting. The Chairman has been asked to give the Committee some additional information.

6. Retail

Big Blu Sea

Big Blu Sea has been operating successfully since Sat 22nd May. Chris has experienced a few minor teething issues. However, most of these have been business or equipment matters. He plans to install a larger, fixed, and lidded bin in the near future, which will be clad in the same wood as the container, to provide a secure and more suitable waste disposal area.

Blue Wild

Alan Stewart has commenced business at the harbour and has reported business is doing well. One customer enjoyed her trip to Bass Rock so much that she delayed her return to Russia to enable a further trip the following day! No issues have been raised by harbour users.

Tasty Toastie

Barry Buglass has twice notified the Chairman about his inability to pass with a vehicle on the South Quay at the Tasty Toastie, causing operational issues. This is due to cars parking whilst people order their takeaway, with prolonged chatting. It is known harbour users. Quentin has approached the individuals to ask them kindly not to park at this location. 

7. Events

A. Harbour Festival (Sparkling Dunbar) 

Despite an enthusiastic response from potential participants, it has been decided to cancel Sparkling Dunbar 2021 post discussions with East Lothian Council. The associated requirements of the public event application were onerous, with a requirement to update regularly as Covid restrictions changed. All who would have been involved have been notified and although deeply saddened that this decision has been taken, have shown gratitude and an understanding of the challenges faced and all are greatly looking forward to 2022.

B. RNLI Lifeboat Day

The RNLI are currently discussing the proposed event at a local and national level. As with all events during the pandemic, the requirements are complex. The RNLI will update DHT in due course.

D. Battery Reservations and update

Fit Form UK continue to hold regular fitness sessions every Tues and Weds with no issues arising.

However, the changing Covid restrictions have brought about a drop in numbers, particularly on the Weds am. This is due to Enjoy Leisure and nearby gym halls re-opening post lockdown. Laura Ross, Fit Form UK Director, will monitor bookings over the month of June and discuss changes as required. 

We should recognise the challenges presented in organising any regular sessions in a time when Covid restrictions are changing regularly with the future is unpredictable and accommodate where possible and within reason.

Dunbar Voices, Youth Choir

Dunbar Voices used the Battery on Tues 8th June 2021 for a choir practise. A summary proposal and full risk assessment were received. As this was a one-off, non-chargeable event, being held with an organised club with registered members, approval was granted with the permission of the Director responsible for events and the DHT Chairperson. 

Provisional Bookings have been made for the following dates as previous meeting update:

  • Sat 10th July 2021 – European Stone Stacking Championships Concert
  • Sat 31st July 2021, 12 noon to 4pm – Private Booking
  • Sat 21st August 2021 – RNLI Lifeboat Day
  • Fri 10th – Sun 12th Sep – Dunbar Music Festival 
  • Sat 4th June 2022 – 3pm to 5pm – Private Booking

Further details can be found on the Battery Website available at: https://dunbarbattery.org.uk/

E. Open Doors Day

Alastair has submitted a quote for the production of a video for Open Doors Day in September. The Cockburn Society confirmed that few participants had the capacity or resource to produce such a film, and there was a discussion as to how well it would go down with those who contribute to the running of the harbour if we used general funds in this way. It was agreed that the first step would be to see whether Jeff Carter would help us out once again, as the quality of his past videos has been exceptional. 

8 Harbour Improvement plan

The next harbour walkabout will take place on Monday 28th June at 2pm. A report will be provided in advance of the next Board meeting. 

A. Cromwell Harbour electrical point

There is a plan to introduce a power point in Cromwell Harbour closer to where the fishermen need it. Final approval for the scheme will be sought from Barry Buglass.

B. Fishermen’s Monument

A planning application has been submitted to East Lothian Council for the introduction of a hardstanding in front of the Fishermen’s monument.

An application for funding has been submitted.

C. Maintenance Bay

Robin Hamilton is helping with the revised plan for the maintenance bay.

D. Pontoons

Paddy continues to investigate the subject of pontoons.

E. Fish hatchery

In the same way, Tania continues to look at the demand, need and viability of a fish hatchery at Dunbar.

9  Any other competent business

Coastal Garden at the Battery

Our chief Coastal Garden volunteer gardener has advised that the garden is in desperate need of some tender loving care. It is a tough area to maintain due to the harsh conditions and the number of visitors but has shown it can produce an area of great splendour when investment is made.

A request has been made for finance to purchase new plants, make notices to alert people that this is a garden area, design a new walkway made of rope and to buy some new equipment (garden tools and brushes). Quotes are being sought and a funding application will be made to the Local Priorities Fund to seek financial support to assist in bringing our community garden back to life.

Our thanks and gratitude are once again expressed to the harbour volunteers who give substantial time and commitment to maintain the coastal garden, along with their assistance to keep the Battery, and the harbour in general, in clean and tidy condition. 

Campervans

It was noted that campervan owners are often looking to find ways to contribute to the harbour. The noticeboard will be used to guide them, and the arrival of a donations box will also help.

Feeding the seagulls

Feeding chips to the seagulls is an everpresent problem, and the education of visitors will continue, so that these pests can be discouraged from attacking others.

Environmental project

Primary school children have already visited the harbour as part of the Environmental Project.

Increase in the number of creels

It has been noted that there are a significant increase in the number of creels at the harbour and there is a need to understand more about the impact on sustainability of fish stocks as well as storage of creels during the winter months

Date of next meeting – Thursday 8th July  2021

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