Agenda and draft minutes

Harbours Committee
Wednesday, 17th March, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: A link to the meeting can be found on the front page of the agenda.. View directions

Contact: Denise Hunt  01305 224878 - Email:


No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence.


An apology for absence was received from Karyn Punchard, Corporate Director for Place Services.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 190 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 9 December 2020.


The minutes of the meeting held on 9 December 2020 were confirmed as a correct record and would be signed at a future date.


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.


Mr Steve Pitman, Independent Member, declared a general interest as a member of Weymouth Sailing Club.


Cllr Mark Roberts declared a general interest as his name was on the waiting list for a mooring in West Bay Harbour.


Cllr Mary Penfold declared a general interest as a member of SCOPAC.


Public Participation pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To receive questions or statements on the business of the committee from town and parish councils and members of the public.

Public speaking has been suspended for virtual committee meetings during the Covid-19 crisis and public participation will be dealt with through written submissions only.

Members of the public who live, work or represent an organisation within the Dorset Council area, may submit up to two questions or a statement of up to a maximum of 450 words.  All submissions must be sent electronically to by the deadline set out below.  When submitting a question please indicate who the question is for and include your name, address and contact details.  Questions and statements received in line with the council’s rules for public participation will be published as a supplement to the agenda.

Questions will be read out by an officer of the council and a response given at the meeting.  All questions, statements and responses will be published in full within the minutes of the meeting.  The deadline for submission of the full text of a question or statement is 8.30am on Monday 15 March 2021.

Additional documents:


A public statement was received that was read out at the meeting. 


Cllr Kate Wheller (Dorset Council - Rodwell & Wyke) addressed the committee directly.


A copy of the statement, questions and responses are set out in the appendix to these minutes.


Chairman's Report

To receive a verbal report by the Chairman.


The Chairman welcomed newly appointed Independent Member, Mr William Ellwood to his first meeting of the committee. 


He advised that he had attended a virtual Port Marine Safety Code Duty Holder training session provided by the British Ports Association and a DEFRA Fisheries Bill webinar in February 2021 and also outlined the current stage in the process of development of the Harbours Strategy.


Harbour Consultative Group Minutes pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To note the minutes of the Weymouth, Bridport and Lyme Regis Harbour Consultative Groups.

Additional documents:


The Chairman welcomed the newly appointed Chairman of the Weymouth Harbour Consultative Group who presented the minutes of the meeting held on 17 February 2021.


The Bridport & Lyme Regis Harbour Master advised that formal meetings of the Bridport and Lyme Regis Harbour Consultative Groups would be arranged by late April / early May 2021, although the existing informal groups had met since the last Harbours Committee meeting.


Budget Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To consider a report by the Weymouth and Bridport &Lyme Regis Harbour Masters.

Additional documents:


The Finance and Admin Manager, Weymouth Harbour and Bridport & Lyme Regis Harbour Master presented the current position for the respective Harbour Revenue budgets at the end of January 2021 and the predicted position of the Weymouth Harbour Reserves for 2020-21.


Cllr David Gray asked about the establishment of a reserve for dredging in Weymouth Harbour.


The Weymouth Harbour Master informed the Committee that discussions were taking place with the hydrographic surveyor in order to develop costs and establish a budget line in the new Asset Management Plan.  In addition, work was also taking place to assess the potential of attracting larger vessels by dredging to depths of 2 or 2.5 metres.


Decision: To note the Budget Monitoring figures for 2020/21.


Reason for Decision: The Harbours Committee has the responsibility for

the harbours’ finances including budget setting, budget monitoring and the final out-turn at the year end.


Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC) Designated Persons and Health and Safety Report pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To consider a report by the Designated Person for Dorset Councils Harbour and the Senior Health & Safety Consultant.

Additional documents:


The Committee considered a report by the Designated Person and the Health & Safety Consultant.


The Designated Person introduced his second report for the period ending February 2021, stating that a good level of contact had been maintained with the Harbours teams despite home working due to the Covid restrictions.  He outlined some highlights of the report including:-


·            the approval of the Weymouth Harbour Revision Order (HRO) and ongoing preparation of the HRO for Bridport and Lyme Regis; 

·            that the harbour teams had fulfilled the obligations of the Port Marine Safety Code despite the pandemic and the change of Weymouth Harbour Master;

·            the implementation of a new incident reporting system in Weymouth which was now live;

·            that navigational risk assessments had been maintained;

·            the ongoing development of Marine Safety Management Systems and early development of General Directions at Weymouth;

·            ongoing stakeholder engagement despite remote working;

·            useful information displayed on the Weymouth Harbour website in relation to Covid, which had been quickly updated in response to rapidly changing government guidance.


In response to questions it was confirmed that


·         there was an opportunity to ensure that Port Marine Safety was included in the Marine Safety Management Plan going forward and for Harbours Committee to take ownership of the Plan.

·         that further to issues with the Melway, an agreement with Portland Port for use of its pilot vessel in Weymouth Harbour was imminent.


The Health & Safety Consultant also gave an overview of the Health & Safety audits.  These had been included in the report further to a request made at the previous Harbours Committee for consideration of those elements that were outside the remit of the Designated Person.


The Health & Safety Consultant stated that all staff had been very co-operative, helpful and open. The new Weymouth Harbour Master had put in place many new procedures at Weymouth, including the control of contractors and associated competencies, which had been impressive.  He had been able to delegate work appropriately and this could be replicated by the Bridport & Lyme Regis Harbour Master should he be provided with further staffing resource.  Closer working relationships between the harbours would be an aspiration going forward and further health & safety visits would be undertaken once Covid restrictions were lifted. Overall she had been very impressed by the harbours teams in what was considered to be a high risk environment.


These comments were echoed by the Chairman and Jim Clark, Independent Member who congratulated the teams on such positive news.


The Chairman was particularly encouraged as the Committee relied on the harbours teams for its safe working harbours and it was encouraging for Duty Holders to know how well the teams were doing and continuing to improve.


Proposed by Cllr Mark Roberts, seconded by Cllr Rob Hughes.


Recommended to Full Council: That the Harbours Committee approves the Designated Person’s report and that the report is sent to Full Council for information


Reason for Recommendation: Harbour operations have been reviewed and

assessed throughout the period by the Designated Person and as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.


Harbour Master Updates pdf icon PDF 653 KB

To receive updates from the Weymouth and Bridport & Lyme Regis Harbour Masters.

Additional documents:


The Weymouth Harbour Master and Bridport & Lyme Regis Harbour Master presented their updates.


Special thanks was extended to Mary Harris from the Weymouth Harbour Consultative Group for setting up and chairing the Weymouth Harbour Watch Community Group with the support of the harbour team that would increase security awareness of the harbour community.


Further to a question relating to dredging in Bridport & Lyme Regis, the Harbour Master explained that dredging of the outer harbour by the Environment Agency had ceased and that the contingency funding allocated by the Council had been insufficient to cover the full cost of this activity.  Dredging at Lyme Regis was undertaken as part of the beach management plan in order to replenish the beach and would continue to be undertaken by the Environment Agency.




Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) Update pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To consider a report by the Engineering Projects Manager.

Additional documents:


The Engineering Projects Manager presented an update report for the three Dorset Council Harbours.




Cllr Louie O'leary left the meeting at this juncture.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 118 KB

To consider the Harbours Committee Workplan.


Jim Clark, Independent Member suggested the following additional items to the forward plan:-


  • a formal review of external funding opportunities;
  • what has changed externally as a consequence of Brexit, including opportunities and threats
  • development of a new 5 year business plan





Urgent items

To consider any items of business which the Chairman has had prior notification and considers to be urgent pursuant to section 100B (4) b) of the Local Government Act 1972. The reason for the urgency shall be recorded in the minutes.


There were no urgent items.


Exempt Business

To move the exclusion of the press and the public for the following item in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of paragraph 3 of schedule 12 A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).


The Harbours Committee MS Team Event will close and the committee will meet in closed session for item 14.


Proposed by Cllr Mark Roberts, seconded by Cllr Robert Hughes.



That the press and the public be excluded for the following item(s) in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of paragraph 3 of schedule 12 A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).


The public part of the meeting concluded at 12.00 noon.


Sale of Freehold of the Old Fish Market, Custom House Quay, Weymouth

To consider an exempt report by the Estates Surveying Manager.


The Committee considered an exempt report.


Proposed by Cllr Mark Roberts, seconded by Cllr Rob Hughes.


Recommended to Full Council (acting as the Statutory Harbour Authority):

that the sale of the freehold of the Old Fish Market, Custom House Quay,

Weymouth to the long leaseholder, Weyfish Ltd, be agreed on the

terms outlined in the exempt report.