Venue: St Hilda Room, Sneaton Castle Centre, Whitby, YO21 3QN
Contact: Christine Armitage
Members are reminded of the need to consider whether they have a personal or prejudicial interest to declare in any of the items on this agenda. If so, the nature of the interest must be declared at the start or as soon as the interest becomes apparent, of the meeting. In addition, the attached form must be completed and passed to the Committee Administrator. The Officers will be pleased to advise, if necessary, and any request for assistance should be made, in the first instance, to the Committee Administrator whose name appears at the end of this agenda. Ideally, such advice should be sought before the day of the meeting so that time is available to consider any uncertainty that might arise.
To approve as a correct record and sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 17 December 2010. (Minutes attached.)
Public Question Time
Public questions of which due notice has been given and which are relevant to the business of the Harbour Board.
To consider a joint report of the Head of Legal and Support Services and the Head of Finance and Asset Management (Reference 11/111) attached.
The Committee considered a joint report by the Head of Legal and Support Services and the Head of Finance and Asset Management (Reference 11/111) regarding the Memorandum of Understanding. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) provides a framework for accountability, decision making and financial management of the Harbour to enable the Harbour Board to successfully run the Port as a commercial business. The MOU was also intended to provide a starting point for the development by the Board of a business plan for future management of the Harbour. The MOU was attached as an Appendix to the Report and included plans which set out the areas which the Board were responsible for and the hatched areas on the plans indicated the areas of land which will continue to be managed as car parks on behalf of the Board.
It was noted that the final document required the addition of several moveable assets which had been omitted and property upon which there was no revenue return.
Members noted that the process of arriving at a memorandum had been protracted. Mr Black raised a concern that all the moveable assets and property that did not produce a revenue had been omitted from the list of assets. He was also concerned to know the timescale for the condition survey in relation to the assets.
The Head of Legal and Support Services advised that the handful of minor amendments would be completed by 31 March 2011 and the condition survey would be available for the Board to consider at their next quarterly meeting.
Councillor Cockerill moved an amendment to the resolution, that agreement to sign the MOU be subject to the required minor amendments.
(i) the report be received;
(ii) subject to the addition of non-revenue producing properties and moveable harbour assets to the asset register, the Memorandum of Understanding for the 2011/12 financial year (attached at Appendix 1 to the report) be approved;
(iii) the budget approved by Council on 25 February 2011 including a one off investment in Whitby Harbour (£50k) be noted;
(iv) the assets, asset rentals, harbour and central recharges set out in the Appendices attached to the Memorandum of Understanding and the plans set out at appendix 2 be noted and agreed; and
(v) it be noted that it is expected that the majority of the Invest to Save scheme for Endeavour Wharf will be repaid during the 2010/11 year the residual monies included in base budget to repay the scheme (£30k) will be available for the Board to utilise in 2011/12.
To establish final agreement upon the financial mechanisms within which the Board are to manage Whitby Harbour.
To consider a joint report by the Head of Technical Services and the Head of Legal and Support Services (Reference 11/203) attached.
The Board considered a report of the Head of Technical Services and the Head of Legal and Support Services (Reference 11/203) regarding an agreement for the future management of the Whitby Swing Bridge. An agreement for the management of the Swing Bridge existed between the Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council the formal term of which expired on 31 March 2008. The terms of this agreement have continued to be honoured between the parties subsequently on a “quantum meruit” basis and this report advised the Board Members upon proposals for a new agreement. The proposal for a new agreement was on the basis that the repair and maintenance and capital costs be the responsibility of the County Council in future, and the day to day costs for managing the bridge be the responsibility of the Borough Council, the Borough Council to also set aside a sum of £5k/year by way of a contribution towards an agreed periodic overhaul. The consequence was an immediate increase in revenue costs of £28k, to be funded from parking revenue derived from Endeavour Wharf, however, in exchange the risk of capital/maintenance costs was essentially taken on by the County Council.
Councillor Cockerill expressed concern at the revenue cost increase. The Head of Legal and Support Services noted that in 2010/11 the repair and maintenance costs to the Borough Council had been £25k above budget, and the effect of the agreement was that in future such costs would fall exclusively to the County Council. What the Board were being invited to do was to reduce the risk of increased repair and maintenance costs, by passing that risk to the County Council in exchange for committing to fund the immediate revenue costs year on year of operating the bridge. Mr Farmer suggested that for clarity a schedule of detailing anticipated repair and maintenance be identified and appended to the draft agreement. The Head of Technical Services indicated that this would be included and a log would be maintained of expenditure on repair and maintenance to compare with the present arrangements to allow a review to occur in due course.
Councillor Tindall and Councillor Flinton requested that it be confirmed in the agreement that the Dolphins were the responsibility of the County Council. The Head of Technical Services confirmed that the County Council had agreed to this.
Mr Farmer requested that a draft copy of the agreement be shared with the Board prior to it being signed. This was confirmed.
RESOLVED that :-
(i) the report be received;
(ii) the principle of entering into an agreement with the County Council for revised terms for the future management and maintenance of the Whitby Swing Bridge under which the County Council is responsible for repair and maintenance, and the Borough Council is responsible for day to day management of the Swing Bridge be agreed;
(iii) authority be delegated to the Head of Legal and Support Services and the Head of Tourism and Culture (within which Service the Port ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
Update Briefing from Harbour Consultative Group - March 2011 (this report was considered as the fourth item on the agenda)
To consider a verbal report from the Chairman of the Whitby Harbour Consultative Group.
He requested clarification from the Harbour Master in relation to the Dock End refuse facility. The Harbour Master indicated he would communicate separately on this issue.
Mr Lodge advised that:
The terms of reference for the Harbour Consultative Group had been approved by the Group.
The Group were pleased that support continued to be offered by the Borough to the fishing industry in difficult times.
The Group were supportive of implementation of the Port Marine Safety Code.
The Group asked that the Board gave consideration to whether part of the capital funds be used to support the Toilets on Church Street, the pontoons and improved fuel facilities.
The Group noted that there would be further consultation with them upon car parking controls and harbour maintenance.
The Harbour Master, the Head of Technical Services and the Portfolio Holder for Harbours spoke positively about the new arrangements.
RESOLVED that the report be received and noted.
To consider a report by the Borough Harbour Master (Reference 11/168) attached.
The Harbour Master confirmed that Alliance Fish were winding up their operations in Whitby Harbour in June 2011. The Council were exploring ways to retain wet fish sales in Whitby.
Councillor Popple had written to the EU Commissioner in relation to the impact of quotas upon Whitby. He had received a response that gave some cause for optimism that the arrangements were to be reviewed, in particular in relation to fish disregards.
It was reported that external income from the dredger was up, albeit that the costs of operating the dredger had also increased, and as already alluded to bridge repairs were £25k above budget.
It was noted that proposed improved aids to navigation were out to tender and a revised design for the Fish Quay had been commissioned. Consideration was being given to how existing pontoons could be used at Dock End to reduce pressure on use of the New Quay.
Mr Farmer reported that any match funding opportunities would be sought to complement available capital funds.
RESOLVED that the report be received and the Port of Whitby’s operation performance during the months December 2010 to February 2011 be noted.
The Harbour Master confirmed that he was leaving the Borough to take up another post and this would therefore be his last meeting. He thanked the Borough Council and Mr Riby for their support in the time that he had been employed by the Council.
Councillor Popple and Councillor Tindall expressed their thanks on behalf of the Council to Mr Willis for his work for the Harbours.
Councillor Cockerill said that the Board needed to be involved in the preparation of the Job Description for any new appointee and interviewing any candidates.
Mr Bennett confirmed that this was intended.