To submit a report by the Pwllheli Harbour Manager.
The Maritime and Country Parks Officer noted that that he had been absent from the work for a period of five weeks due to an injury, and that he had returned to work the day before the meeting. He explained that the Harbour Manager had drawn up the report and that he apologised that he was unable to be present due to personal commitments. He noted that the Pwllheli Harbour Deputy Manager was present to respond to enquiries.
The Maritime and Country Parks Officer guided the members through the report, drawing attention to the following main points:
· Following a review last year by the Coastguard Agency, the inspectors would revisit the Council in spring 2019. It was suggested that a follow-up review take place on the same date as the meeting of the Porthmadog Harbour Consultative Committee, to which all members of the Gwynedd Harbour Consultative committees would be invited, and at which the inspectors would give a presentation on matters involving the Port Marine Safety Code.
· That the inspectors had commented on the lack of width in the harbour's navigation channel. Improvements would be made within the resources.
· The need to review the location of the navigational aids that were near the sea wall in order to identify the most suitable location.
· In terms of staffing matters, following a review of staff at the Harbour, changes were made to the hours of some posts to be in-keeping with working conditions. Consequently, no staff were present at the beginning of the day or at the end of the day. No complaints had been received thus far.
· Reference was made to a summary of the Harbour and Hafan's budgets and current financial situation up to the end of the second quarter. The estimations given for the Hafan's final budgetary situation, considering the income targets, were positive and the officer was confident that they would be in line with what was noted.
· In relation to the Harbour and Hafan's proposed fees and charges in 2019/20, the service intended to amend the fees in line with the rate of inflation. Confirmation about the rates to be used was awaited. It was noted that a more detailed review of the fees would be held during 2019, taking to account periods of less than a year, such as 3, 6 or 9 months. Any change in the current regime would be in accordance with a financial risk assessment.
· That he was disappointed that the number of berth holders were falling at the Harbour and the Hafan, but that this was in line with the trend at all harbours/ He noted that he was confident that the numbers would increase as a result of the investment made in the dredging work.
· A number of national and international events had been attracted and held at Pwllheli by Plas Heli Cyf. Plas Heli Cyf was congratulated, and it was noted that the service's staff collaborated with the company for the benefit of the community.
The Pwllheli and District Boat Owners Association representative drew attention to the fact that there was very little difference in the total fuel sold at the Hafan in the current financial year, considering the weather. He elaborated that fuel could only be paid for with card at the Hafan, not with cash. The possibility of introducing self-service machines should be investigated.
In response, the Maritime and Country Parks Officer noted that arrangements were in place to install a self-service facility for a petrol pump at the Hafan's Petrol Quay. The diesel pump would continue to be an attendant only service for the time being, due to the legislative requirement for customers to fill in a statement when buying red diesel.
The Plas Heli representative shared a document that showed the Crib Groyne in its original form. He noted the need to extend it substantially in order to divert materials to Abererch beach. The Economy and Community Senior Manager noted that repair work to the Crib Groyne had been included in the Dredging Strategy. He explained that environmental modelling work would need to be completed if it was intended to extend it and, due to the time and costs associated with this, the necessary repair work would be carried out.
The Maritime Traders Association representative noted that the channel was shallow and much narrower compared to its original form. He added that it was difficult to bring boats in and out near his business, especially when the tide flowed across.
In response to a comment that there was no light on a scaffold tube post at the harbour entrance, the Maritime and Country Parks Officer noted that it was intended to make an application to Trinity House to remove the mark.
A member asked when the Service would be able to keep a portion of the budget rather than transferring it to the Council's central funds. The Maritime and Country Parks Officer noted that in the next financial year, there would be a reduction in the Hafan's target income but this was only temporary.
Pwllheli and District Boat Owners Association representative noted that he understood that a condition was in place where the pontoons in Plas Heli would only be used when the Hafan was full or when events were held at Plas Heli. In response, the Maritime and Country Parks Officer noted the need, ideally, to support activities in the harbour as a whole.
The representative noted that he was supportive of Plas Heli, but not at the expense of local tax payers. In response, the Economy and Community Senior Manager noted that Plas Heli Cyf was required to submit proposed fees to the Council. He noted that Plas Heli extended the range of facilities available in Pwllheli. Plas Heli pontoons could not be compared with the moorings and facilities in the Hafan.
In response to an observation by the representative in terms of using Council land for caravans and charging for parking in the car park when an event is taking place in Plas Heli, the Economy and Community Senior Manager noted that events brought economic benefit to the area and that accommodation provision was required for the events. He explained that there were occasional arrangements between the Council and Plas Heli Cyf in terms of using the land in question as a caravan site when an event was held. He noted that the car park was under the control of Plas Heli Cyf, and that it was appropriate for them to charge a parking fee.
The Plas Heli representative noted that it had been quite a good season for Plas Heli, with various events. He explained that Plas Heli was run by volunteers and that Plas Heli Cyf had a turnover of approximately £0.5m per annum. He noted that Plas Heli was important to Pwllheli as it attracted a large number of visitors and competitors, bringing benefit to the local economy.
The Pwllheli and District Boat Owners Association representative noted that he welcomed the fact that visitors were attracted to the area because of Plas Heli, but it was important that the company stood on its own two feet. He referred to information he had received from the Council under a freedom of information request about the number of grants Plas Heli Cyf had received. In response, the Economy and Community Senior Manager noted that the grants were contributions to hold events, and that there was one specific plan in the Council's Strategic Plan for holding major events in the County.
The Pwllheli and District Boat Owners Association representative noted that fishing boats were moored on Plas Heli pontoons where they should not be, and the need to look at a reduction in external harbour fees for local people in order to ensure use of the moorings. In response, the Maritime and Country Parks Officer noted that he would discuss the fishing boats matter with Plas Heli Cyf, and that the possible reduction in external harbour fees for local people could be considered as part of the review of fees in 2019/20.
RESOLVED to note and accept the report.