Agenda and minutes

Harbours Advisory Committee - Wednesday, 20th September, 2023 2.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Dorchester, DT1 1XJ. View directions

Contact: Joshua Kennedy  Email:


No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 131 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 7 June 2023.



The minutes of the last meeting held on Wednesday 7 June 2023 were confirmed and signed.


Declarations of Interest

To disclose any pecuniary, other registerable or non-registrable interest as set out in the adopted Code of Conduct. In making their disclosure councillors are asked to state the agenda item, the nature of the interest and any action they propose to take as part of their declaration.


If required, further advice should be sought from the Monitoring Officer in advance of the meeting.



Cllr Roberts declared a non-pecuniary interest as the holder of a mooring at West Bay Harbour, a member of the LGA Special Interest Group – Wessex Regional Flood and Coastal Committee and Chairman of Southern IFCA.


Richard Tinsley declared a non-pecuniary interest as he holds a mooring in Weymouth Harbour.



Public Participation

Representatives of town or parish councils and members of the public who live, work, or represent an organisation within the Dorset Council area are welcome to submit either 1 question or 1 statement for each meeting.  You are welcome to attend the meeting in person or via MS Teams to read out your question and to receive the response.   If you submit a statement for the committee this will be circulated to all members of the committee in advance of the meeting as a supplement to the agenda and appended to the minutes for the formal record but will not be read out at the meeting. The first 8 questions and the first 8 statements received from members of the public or organisations for each meeting will be accepted on a first come first served basis in accordance with the deadline set out below.  Further information read Public Participation - Dorset Council 


All submissions must be e-mailed in full to

by 8.30am on Friday 15th September 2023.


When submitting your question(s) and/or statement(s) please note that:


  • You can submit 1 question or 1 statement.
  • a question may include a short pre-amble to set the context.
  • It must be a single question and any sub-divided questions will not be permitted.
  • Each question will consist of no more than 450 words, and you will be given up to 3 minutes to present your question.
  • when submitting a question please indicate who the question is for (e.g., the name of the committee or Portfolio Holder) 
  • Include your name, address, and contact details.  Only your name will be published but we may need your other details to contact you about your question or statement in advance of the meeting. 
  • questions and statements received in line with the council’s rules for public participation will be published as a supplement to the agenda. 
  • all questions, statements and responses will be published in full within the minutes of the meeting.   


There were no questions or statements from members of the public.


Chairman's Report

To consider a verbal report by the Chairman.


The Chairman delivered a verbal update to the committee and welcomed Mark Saxby, who had been appointed as the new Independent Member on the committee, subject to approval by Full Council at its next meeting on 12 October 2023. The Chairman also welcomed James Hannon, the committees designated person, to the meeting for his first report. Finally, the Chairman updated the committee on his attendance of the Local Government Association Coastal Special Interest Group, which he had attended recently.


Harbour Consultative Group Minutes pdf icon PDF 381 KB

To note the minutes of the Weymouth Harbour Consultative Groups held on Wednesday 16 August 2023.



The Weymouth Harbour Master updated the committee on the Weymouth Harbour Consultative Group Minutes. Nick Marks, Chair of the Lyme Regis Harbour Consultative Group also delivered a brief verbal update on Lyme Regis Harbour.


Harbour Master Updates pdf icon PDF 493 KB

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

Additional documents:


The Bridport Harbour Master delivered the updates for Lyme Regis and West Bay Harbours. The latest statistics for both harbours were provided and it was explained that recent poor weather had resulted in low figures for season ticket sales and harbour use. However, income from quayside parking and shops had seen an increase since this period last year. Several training courses had been undertaken by staff in Lyme Regis including, a first-aid, Harbour Master and Day Skipper course. The Harbour Master also noted that the pilotage review had been conducted and a report had been supplied to the committee. There were plans to conduct dredging works for both harbours, to start in 2024 and business plans were being completed and were intended to be presented at a future meeting of the committee.


In response to a question from the Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, the Harbour Master assured the committee that works would be attempted to be completed outside of the peak season, to avoid disruption to harbour users.


The Weymouth Harbour Master presented the updates for Weymouth Harbour and provided the latest statistics, noting that berth occupancy remained strong, however the bad weather had had an adverse impact on the statistics for Weymouth Harbour. It was hoped that improved facilities would increase the number of visiting fishing vessels to the harbour. A total of 87 incidents had been reported to the Harbour Office and the new reporting system had been successful in making it easier to report incidents.


In response to a question from one member, the Weymouth Harbour Master assured the committee that they worked closely with the local police and the Community Safety Team at Dorset Council, when dealing with the reporting of serious incidents.


Harbours Budget Monitoring Report 2023-24 DOTX 512 KB

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

Additional documents:


The Bridport Harbour Master presented the budget monitoring figures for Bridport and Lyme Regis for 2023/24. Expenditure for Bridport Harbour was expected to be high, due to recording two lots of dredging within the same financial year and there was also £101,000 allocated to the reserve fund. No money was allocated to the reserve fund for Lyme Regis, however £29,000 was returned to Dorset Council.


The Harbour Office Manager presented the budget monitoring figures for Weymouth for 2023/24. There was reduced income from visiting and commercial vessels, however there had also been an underspend in costs.


The committee noted the 2023/24 budget monitoring figures for Bridport, Lyme Regis and Weymouth Harbours.


Flood & Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) Engineering Update DOTX 55 KB

To provide an engineering update for Weymouth, Bridport and Lyme Regis harbours.

Additional documents:


The Service Manager for Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management delivered an update on Bridport, Lyme Regis and Weymouth harbours. In Bridport, dredging had been completed and discussions had taken place with contractors for next years dredging works. Inspections had been undertaken and some minor works completed, while engineers were monitoring wall A and the wall B walkway had been partially reopened.


Dredging for Lyme Regis was in discussion and would be addressed at the same time as Bridport. The high wall walkway had been closed off for monitoring, while the Cobb was being monitored and repaired as necessary. A verbal update was provided on Phase 5 of the Lyme Regis Environmental Improvement Scheme, and it was noted that due to inflationary pressures the funding for this would no longer be sufficient for the full project and alternative funding routes were being looked at.


Inspections in Weymouth had been completed and remedial works were underway. A funding bid to incorporate surface water into the flood risk scheme had been approved, which would help to model and produce preliminary designs for flood risk works. Harbour walls F and G were also set to be replaced.


The committee noted the FCERM update.  


Monitoring and review of the Marine Safety Plan DOTX 47 KB

To consider a report from the Head of Environment and Wellbeing.

Additional documents:


The Head of Environment and Wellbeing updated the committee on the Marine Safety Plan, he noted that incidents continued to be reported to the Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment.


In response to a question from a member, it was confirmed that the audit findings would be reported to the committee once completed.


The committee noted the report.  


Bridport & Lyme Regis Harbours Pilotage Review pdf icon PDF 458 KB

To consider a report from the Bridport and Lyme Regis Harbour Master.

Additional documents:


The Bridport Harbour Master presented the Bridport and Lyme Regis Harbours Pilotage Review report. It was explained that Dorset Council had contacted ABPmer to conduct a pilotage review for Bridport and Lyme Regis Harbours. This review had concluded that it would be beneficial to remove powers of pilotage, due to not having received a request for pilotage for 40 years.


Decision: That the Harbours Advisory Committee recommend that the Portfolio Holder for Highway, Travel, and Environment commence the process of removing the Harbour Authority’s Pilotage functions, as provided for under The Marine Navigation Act 2013.


Decision - Approval of the removal of the Harbour Authority's Pilotage functions, as provided for under The Marine Navigation Act 2013 - Dorset Council


PMSC Designated Persons Report pdf icon PDF 467 KB

To consider a report from the Harbours Designated Person.

Additional documents:


The PMSC Designated Persons Report was presented by the Designated Person, James Hannan. With the aid of a visual presentation, he delivered the report to the committee. The current Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC) was written in 2016 and an updated version was expected in 2024. A PMSC audit had been conducted on Bridport Harbour, with positive results, there were 12 areas of improvement highlighted in the audit. The pilotage review for Bridport and Lyme Regis had determined that pilotage powers were not necessary for the use levels of these harbours.


The committee noted the PMSC Designated Persons Report.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 323 KB

To consider the Harbours Committee Workplan.


The forward plan was presented to the committee by the Head of Environment and Wellbeing and he explained the changes since the previous committee meeting. The Weymouth General Directions report would be brought to the next meeting in November and the Business Plans and Asset Management Plans would be presented at the same time. 


The committee noted the forward 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 x of schedule 12 A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).


The public and the press will be asked to leave the meeting whilst the item of business is considered.


There is no scheduled exempt business for this meeting.



There was no exempt business.