Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall - Bridge Street, Bideford, EX39 2HS

Contact: Sandra Cawsey - Democratic Services  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


An apology for absence was received from Councillor Christie.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Confirmation of the Minutes of the Meeting held on 22 November 2018.


It was proposed by Councillor Langmead, seconded by Councillor Whittaker  and –


Resolved: That the minutes of the meeting held on the 22 November 2018 be agreed and signed as a correct record.


Vote: (For 5, Abstentions 2)






Action List pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Additional documents:


Minute 7 – Bideford Harbour – Safety Management System


The Harbour Master to present a report under Agenda item 9. 


Minute 8 – Estuary Sampling/Dredging


No response had been received from Boscalis, but it had been reported that they do not wish to take the sand dredging project any further.   Crown Estate are seeking monies to take samples.


Minute 11 - Freshspring


The Planning and Economy Manager had received an email from Simon Tattersall, stating they are hopeful the Authority will look favourably on their application to move the vessel nearer to the town in April.   The Group were advised that arrangements would need to be made, which would include moving the vessels that are already there.  The “Seven Seas” would need to be moved and this would involve dredging.


Councillor Langmead felt an inspection, prior to moving the vessel would be required to ascertain whether it was in a suitable condition to be moved.


Following an earlier visit to the Freshspring, Councillors Whittaker and Hurley had said they would wish to revisit again at the end of March to ensure the vessel was in a good visual state.   The Planning and Economy Manager suggested an earlier visit due to the tides.


The Group agreed for the vessel to move, but only when the Authority are reassured that everything to be put in place is in place, including the condition of the vessel.


It was proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded by Councillor Langmead and –




That, in principle, it be agreed that the Freshspring is moved in April subject to conditions. 


(Vote:  For – Unanimous)



Minute No. 12 – Viability of a Harbour Authority Boat and Marine Storage Park


Councillor Whittaker explained the PiD had missed the deadline, but due to the projected shortfall for this year the application would not have been successful.




Minute No. 19  -  Pilotage Arrangements


The Planning and Economy Manager confirmed an email had been sent to all Members giving a breakdown of pilotage arrangements, including costs, with ND Council.   He confirmed that the fees and charges for the coming year had now been set, but moving forward these to be reviewed in time for a report to be taken to Community & Resources Committee meeting in February.


Port Sanitary Authority – nothing to report, but the Planning and Economy Manager to liaise with Councillor Christie.


Minute No. 27  -  Arrangements with ND Council


The Planning and Economy Manager updated the Group.


A meeting with the houseboat people and ND Council re boundaries to be arranged.   No date had yet been received from ND Council, once date received to liaise with Councillor Whittaker and Members of this Group.


Councillor Langmead referred to the dates on the action list of when contacted and reminders sent, and asked that this matter is taken forward as a matter of urgency.  Councillor Whittaker advised this was not a matter ND Council would take action on.


The Planning and Economy Manager reiterated to the Group they had no  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.


Public Contributions

15 minute period for public contributions



Sarah Golden addressed the meeting regarding issues the live aboard residents had with the Authority.


She commented that the wording on the County Court Order made the houseboat owners believe there would be a water supply to each houseboat, to be paid for by the owners.   There is only one meter which is a long way away from the three boats, and she enquired as to how each houseboat would be billed.   The current provision, she felt, was not fit for purpose.


During the moving of the boats, promises were made for proper moorings to be available.  She asked for a timescale as to when this work would be carried out.


Councillor Whittaker confirmed that a written response would be sent.


Agreement of Agenda Items Parts I and II


It was proposed and seconded –


That the Agenda as circulated be agreed.


(Vote:  For – Unanimous)


Urgent Matters of Information Brought Forward with the Permission of the Chairman and the Committee


There were no urgent matters of information brought forward.


Boats outside TDC Harbour Limits and any action to be taken


This matter had been dealt with under Agenda item 3.


Financial Summary Quarter 3 - 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 114 KB

To receive the report of the Planning and Economy Manager

Additional documents:


The purpose of the report, which was presented by the Planning and Economy Manager, was to provide the Group with a financial summary for the period Quarter 3 2018/19 (October – December).


A brief overview of the current financial position detailed in Appendix 1 attached to the report was given.   The deficit figure for the Harbour was noted.


Mr Gibbs referred to the figures quoted in the variance column, and stated he felt they all appeared to be incorrect.   The Planning and Economy Manager agreed to speak with the Accountant who had prepared the table, and to email Members of the Group either to explain how the figures were arrived at or to send the correct information.


At the request of the Harbour Board Working Group, the Strategic Manager (Resources) attended to explain how the recharge figures are arrived at.




Bideford Harbour - Safety Management System pdf icon PDF 55 KB

To receive the report of the Planning and Economy Manager

Additional documents:


The Harbour Master presented the report, the purpose of which was to update Members on the review of the Ports Safety Management System and Risk assessments.


The report detailed the proposed new system, which if approved by the Group will then go to Community & Resources Committee for final approval.  Once approved will then be published on the Council’s website.


Following a brief discussion it was proposed by Councillor Whittaker, seconded by Councillor Brenton and –




That the Port of Bideford Harbour Safety Management System be published on the website following endorsement by Community & Resources Committee.


(Vote:  For – Unanimous)


Port and Harbour Activity Report pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To receive the report of the Planning and Economy Manager


The Group received an update from the Harbour Master detailing the activities and Pilotage movements within the Statutory harbour limits of the Harbour Authority.  


When presenting the report the Harbour Master advised that the port of Bideford continued to remain slow for commercial traffic, but remained compliant with the Port Marine Safety Code and current legislation pertaining to marine operations.


The Planning and Economy Manager confirmed that a planning application on the Yelland Power Station site had been submitted, and it had been said that  the activity on the jetty would continue.    He sought Member approval to a consultation response being sent from the Harbour Board Working Group, raising concerns that it may compromise the activity of the jetty, which would then have an effect on this Council’s pilotage.  The Group agreed to a letter being sent.


Mr Hardaker informed the Group of a meeting being held on Tuesday 29 January at Fremington Parish Hall for those interested in the application.  He confirmed he would be attending and would take notes to bring back to this Group.  Councillor Whittaker suggested that he forward the notes to Democratic Services who will then circulate to Members.



Councillor Watson, as Chair of Internal Overview & Scrutiny Committee, expressed his Committee’s concerns with regard to the Harbour income deficit figures.  As this matter will be discussed at a meeting of his Committee, he sought answers to the following questions:


·         How many ships had come into the Harbour during the last four years?

·         How many ships are required to make the Harbour viable?

·         How can the Harbour carry on?

·         The exact amount the Harbour loses each year?


A general discussion regarding the operation of the port took place, including the income and expenditure figures and recharges.   The Strategic Manager (Resources) clarified how the figures are arrived at and how the costs are allocated. 


The Group also discussed the need for dredging – the Harbour Master commented that without this there is a restriction on the size of vessels coming into the Port.   Mr Hardaker referred to the concerns raised by Councillor Christie at a previous meeting, when he felt dredging would not be allowed due to the area being in a SSSI.




Any Other Business


The Harbour Master asked that the Harbour Board Working Group give consideration to arranging a Harbour Liaison Group.   Councillor Whittaker felt this was a matter to be discussed following the Internal Overview & Scrutiny Committee meeting.


Councillor Langton-Lockton referred to the importance of the Port in this area and felt the Group should be looking outwards to bring money into the Harbour.  He mentioned the connection Bideford Harbour has had in the past with Youhl in Southern Ireland.   The new Harbour Master in Youhl  is a colleague of Paul Lobistour and is keen to forge a relationship with Bideford Port.


Councillor Langton-Lockton recommended that £1,000 be made available for the Bideford Harbour Master to meet with the Harbour Master at Youhl, and to report back, prior to the election in May.   Councillor Whittaker suggested that in the first instance contact is made by teleconference.  The Harbour Master to then bring a report back to the April meeting.   If there is a need to have a meeting of the Group before April, this can be arranged. 



Prior to the meeting going into Part II, Sarah Golden handed documents to the Senior Solicitor.



The Chair to move:-


That the public be excluded from the remainder of the meeting because of the likely disclosure of exempt information by virtue of paragraph 3 of Part 1 and paragraph 10 of Part 2 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.


It was proposed by Councillor Whittaker, seconded by Councillor Langmead and –




That under Section 100(a)4 of the Local government Act (as amended) the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business because of the likely disclosure of exempt information by virtue of Paragraph 3 of Part 1 and Paragraph 10 of Part 2 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.


(Vote:  For – Unanimous)




Update on Houseboats

To receive a verbal update from the Senior Solicitor


A confidential verbal update was given by the Senior Solicitor  in relation to the current position of the houseboats.


It was proposed by Councillor Whittaker, seconded by Councillor Langmead that the press and public be re-admitted.


(Vote:  For – Unanimous)