Minutes from Meeting – 13th October 2015

MINUTES OF TENBY HARBOUR USER’S ASSOCIATION MEETING WITH PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL, COUNTY HALL – 13 OCTOBER 2015

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
Ian Westley, Chief Executive
Barry Cooke, Head of Property
Phillip Williams, Property Review Manager
County Councillor Michael Williams

TENBY HARBOUR USER’S ASSOCIATION
Angus Dunlop, Chair
Blake Shaw, Vice Chair
Paul Cowper, Legal Advisor
Bev Summers, Secretary

1. County Councillor Williams opened the meeting by declaring an interest in the issues which were about to be discussed. It was agreed that there was not a conflict of interest.

2. Paul Cowper provided some background to the Tenby Harbour User’s Association (THUA) and advised that it had looked after the interests of harbour users for more than 40 years and had been involved in major issues such as the Campaign for Clean Seas and the Sea Empress oil spill. He went on to raise the Municipal Ports Review and stressed that a Harbour Board Structure was the UK Government’s preferred option and that there was strong support for this model from THUA. Examples were given of other Harbour Boards in the UK which were operating effectively. He felt that early engagement between THUA and Pembrokeshire County Council (PCC) could act as a stepping stone towards the introduction of a Harbour Board and suggested that THUA may become an advisory body to the Board. He questioned whether PCC were still waiting advice from legal advisers on the appointment of independent marine consultants to take forward the first steps of the consultation exercise.
3. Angus Dunlop said that THUA had garnered a lot of local support and said that membership had been raised from 50 to 500 members. Members included anyone who used the harbour, both for commercial and personal use. He confirmed that there were two membership structures – fee paying members who were entitled to vote and associate members who did not pay and had no vote. A Facebook page had been set up and the THUA website was now up and running. He stressed the importance of empowering members to find workable solutions to key issues which affect the harbour including looking at ways of boosting revenue in the harbour. He confirmed that THUA’s committee had met last week to discuss the agenda for this meeting with PCC. Phillip Williams advised that he had remote management responsibility for both the Harbourmaster and Deputy Harbourmaster and said that he would welcome any feedback on their performance. It was agreed that more regular meetings would be held with the Harbourmaster and Deputy Harbourmaster possibly on a monthly or quarterly basis. ACTION: Phillip Williams.
4. A wide ranging discussion took place on a number of issues including property in the harbour estate, the short term lease of buildings, vacant stores and the outside moorings. Angus Dunlop felt there was a need for the outside moorings to be restructured and suggested that there may be a need for this to be put out for tender and suggested that Trinity House could be approached to assist. The discussion turned to finance and Ian Westley stressed that there was the issue of finance attached to the Harbour and that it was an important asset which needed to work for both PCC and for Tenby. He agreed there was a need to engage with the local community to find mutually workable options. 5. County Councillor Michael Williams questioned whether there was a differentiation between the way that Tenby Harbour and Fishguard Harbour’s accounts were split. PCC agreed that they would share separate figures for Tenby Harbour. ACTION: Pembrokeshire County Council to share separate figures.
6. Ian Westley stated that he was open to any future management models and said that it was important to develop trust between PCC and THUA. He suggested monthly meetings should be held over a 6 month period with the aim of improving and understanding a number of issues. The meetings should concentrate on finance/accounts, staff management and the harbour estate with the aim of giving more clarity prior to considering options for future management of TenbyHarbour. Paul Cowper asked if PCC would be seeking advice from external consultants regarding any options and Ian Westley confirmed that he needed further information prior to seeking external advice. It was agreed that it would be beneficial to set up regular meetings between THUA and PCC. He suggested that the first meeting should be with THUA committee members and that it should be held in Tenby. ACTION: Bev Summers to arrange.
7. No other items of business were raised.