Agenda item

To receive the report of the Operational Services Manager


The Group received an update from the Harbour Master detailing the activities and commercial vessel movements in the port and estuary since the last meeting on 20 April 2022.  It was confirmed it had been a busy quarter for Bideford Harbour, although there had been no commercial vessel movements.


The Harbour Master responded to an enquiry from Councillor Hicks confirming that the vessel referred to was the “Fruit for Harvest”, it is insured and the owner had provided all the documentation and evidence required prior to arriving in the Harbour.   It is important that if a vessel is turned away, there must be reasons for doing so. The Port Safety Code is very clear on what can and cannot be done when it comes to turning boats away.  The Harbour Master addressed all questions/points raised by the Group.


During the discussion the following matters were raised:


Middle Dock – the Harbour Master advised that he and Kelly Jarman had had input into this project as Marine Professionals.  Councillor Hicks and the Leader are also closely involved.


Dredger Deo Gloria – a PEC was done for the new captain and this Certificate will last for a year.   If he returns within the year, then his PEC will stand and income from pilotage will be at a reduced rate of 25%.  If expired will be required to do a further PEC.


Sibelco – The Harbour Master gave an update on a conversation he had had with Sibelco and confirmed that negotiations are still ongoing.


Fuel costs and road transport - Councillor Christie asked if there was any scope for new cargoes due to the increase in fuel costs because up until now road transport had been cheaper.  The Harbour Master reported that he had spoken to UK shipping regarding this matter, but nothing had as yet come forward.  Anyone with connections/suggestions to contact him and he will pursue the matter further.


Councillor Hicks mentioned that previously Devon County Council had used the Harbour for salt cargo.  The Harbour Master to speak with the Head of Communities & Place re a contact at Devon County Council to discuss this matter.


Previously used to import timber on a large scale – Councillor Christie asked if this could be revisited.


The pros and cons of various cargoes and haulage companies was discussed.


Lundy Company – the Harbour Master gave a verbal update on the meeting he had attended with Mr Derek Green of the Lundy Company.  The purpose of the meeting was to agree rates and charges to the Lundy Island Company for the future operating of the “Oldenburg” out of Bideford.  The outcome from the meeting was for Mr Green to send a scale of charges that he thinks is fair and equitable to the Harbour Master.  Following discussion of the details with the Operational Services Manager, a report will then be presented to the Harbour Board Group for discussion.


Slipway Clearance – Mr Puddy suggested using a yard scraper on a regular basis to help with keeping the slipway clear.  The Harbour Master said he was open to suggestions but asked for the matter to be put on hold to see how quick the slipway re-silts.


Mr Puddy enquired about the potential for adding a trailer charge for those people who are launching at the slipway in the same way as a trailer charge is in place at Appledore.  The Harbour Master said a significant factor is that Appledore is far busier than the Bideford.  If the slipway started to be used more then maybe but would need to be cautious in putting the Council’s resources to something that is not busy.  The Operational Services Manager agreed to speak to the Car Parking Manager regarding areas for parking and the purchase of tickets.


Oil Spill Plan and IME – the Incident Management Plan – incident management exercise will now take place on 20 July.


Mooring Policy – Members expressed their concerns regarding the “Boa Pescadore” and sought assurance from the Harbour Master that the situation will be monitored.


Harland – the Harbour Master confirmed that his role in the case had been explained to him very clearly.


Squirty Fountains – Once a quote to repair the fountains has been received it will be brought to the Group for discussion.  The manufacturing company had been contacted to ask them to look at the fountains, still awaiting a date.  The Harbour Master agreed for Mr Gibbs to be present.


Harbour dredging – application had been submitted to the MMO for Mr Glover to carry out dredging in the harbour authority area.  The Harbour Master will report to the Group when feedback is received.


Harbour Users Group – The Harbour Master referred to the list of suggested attendees in the report and asked for comments from Members.


The following proposed attendees were put forward:


·         Skern Lodge

·         Jet Skies – the Operational Services Manager to forward contact details

·         Bideford Gig Club


The Harbour Master advised that the proposed Agenda set out in the report is a standard Harbour Users Group agenda, but if Members had any further thoughts or ideas for inclusion on the agenda then to contact him. 


The Group noted the report.

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