Agenda and minutes

Harbours Advisory Committee - Wednesday, 6th March, 2024 10.00 am

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

Contact: Joshua Kennedy  Email:


No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 96 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 22 November 2023.



The minutes of the last meeting held on 22 November 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.


Cllr Penfold declared a non-pecuniary interest as the Chairman of SCOPAC (Standing Conference on problems associated with the Coastline) and as a member of the Special Coastal Interest Group.


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 up to two questions or two statements for each meeting.  Alternatively, you could submit one question and one statement for each meeting.


All submissions must be e-mailed in full to

by 8.30am on Friday 1 March 2024.


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


·       no more than three minutes will be allowed for any one question or statement to be asked/read

·       a question may include a short pre-amble to set the context and this will be included within the three minute period

·       please note that sub divided questions count towards your total of two · 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.


Dorset Council Constitution  Procedure Rule 9



There was no public participation.


Chairman's Report

To consider a verbal report by the Chairman.


The Chairman delivered a verbal report to the committee, he welcomed Tim Day to the committee as the new Chair of Weymouth Harbour Consultative Group and thanked Andy Sargent for his work as Chair. He thanked Cllr Penfold for her contributions to the committee over the past few years. He congratulated Ed Carter on his new role as Harbours Manager and thanked Ken Buchan for his contributions to the committee.


The Chairman noted the success of the establishment of the Harbour Watch Scheme in Weymouth and looked forward to the launch of the scheme in Bridport and Lyme Regis in April.


Harbour Consultative Group Minutes pdf icon PDF 123 KB

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


Additional documents:


The Bridport Consultative Group minutes for the meeting held on 29 January 2024 were presented by Gavin Brooking.


The Lyme Regis Consultative Group minutes for the meeting held on 01 February 2024 were presented by Nick Marks, the Consultative Group Chair.


The Weymouth Harbour Consultative Group minutes for the meeting held on 31 January 2024 were presented by Tim Day the Consultative Group Chair.  


Harbour Master Updates pdf icon PDF 377 KB

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

Additional documents:


The Bridport and Lyme Regis Harbour Master reported the updates for the respective harbours. He noted that three members of staff had undertaken a Harbour Master training course and they were currently in the process of recruiting a new Assistant Harbour Master. Dredging had started in both Bridport and Lyme Regis Harbours and was expected to be completed on time. In Bridport the Harbour Team were working to increase the capacity of the bins to address littering issues. It was explained that enforcement training would be rolled out to the Harbour Teams at Bridport and Lyme Regis, following the successful training in Weymouth.


The Harbours Manager presented the update for Weymouth Harbour. He presented the statistics for the year to date, noting that commercial berths had a nearly 100% occupancy rate. The harbour had fared well over the winter, due to its favourable geographical position and preventative maintenance that had taken place. The Harbours Manager reported on several incidents that had occurred since the last meeting of the committee. A week of pre-season training had been attended by all staff, and the two Assistant Harbour Masters had recently completed the Harbour Masters & PMSC course. The Harbour works that were ongoing, included the repair of Wall 4, the Quay Regeneration Project and the Town Bridge Maintenance works.  


In response to questions from the committee, the Harbours Manager provided the following responses:

·       An incident that occurred involving a person climbing the Pavilion Theatre building fell outside of the jurisdiction of the Harbour and therefore was not reported to the Harbour Team directly.

·       Following a bathymetric survey of the harbour in December 2023, dredging was not required in Weymouth Harbour, as depths remained good in the navigable channels and berthing areas. The next annual survey was scheduled for later in the year.

·       There was no testing of the water quality for the Christmas Day swim, however it was considered within the risk assessment, and it was advised that people don’t swim in the sea after heavy rainfall.


Flood & Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) Engineering Update pdf icon PDF 312 KB

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

Additional documents:


The Service Manager for Flood and Coastal Erosion presented the engineering update to the committee. Inspections were scheduled to take place in the summer of 2024 and repairs would follow after. In Bridport work was being done to combine the repair works for Harbour Walls A and B to reduce overall construction costs. In Lyme Regis repairs had been carried out on the Cobb, following damage from Storm Ciaran in November 2023. In Weymouth Harbour, Harbour Walls F and G were in need of repairs and funding for this was coming from the Levelling-Up Fund, with any shortfall being made up by Dorset Council. Construction on Harbour Wall 4 had commenced.




Harbours Budget Monitoring Report 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 820 KB

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

Additional documents:


The Harbour Master presented the budget monitoring figures for Bridport and Lyme Regis. In Bridport the overall expenditure was expected to be £103,000 adverse, this was explained as being due to an overspend on parking management, staffing costs, travel budgets and a significant overspend on supplies and servicing, due to dredging taking place twice within the financial year. The expected movement to reserves was £62,000.


In Lyme Regis there was an overspend on staff costs and an increase on the transport budget, due to the maintenance of a JCB. Income was reported as £31,000 favourable and there was no movement to the reserve fund, but the predicted underspend of around £4000 would be returned to Dorset Council.


In response to a question from one member, the Harbour Master explained that the installation cost of the ANPR system, to control the slipway area in Lyme Regis was the cause of the high internal management fee.


The Harbour Office Manager presented the budget monitoring figures for Weymouth, who reported that the budget forecast for Weymouth remained healthy, with a predicted surplus of £97,000 to be added to the reserve fund. There had been an overspend in insurance and energy costs and the pay award had increased salary costs. There had been an underspend on business rates and marketing.


In response to a question from one member, the Harbours Manager assured the committee that a review would be conducted into the Regeneration Programme and any results would be brought back to the committee.


The committee noted the budget monitoring figures for 2023/24.


Monitoring and Review of the Marine Safety Plan DOTX 169 KB

To consider a report from the Weymouth Harbour Master.

Additional documents:


The Harbours Manager presented the review of the Marine Safety Plan, he noted that as requested by members, an independent audit had been added to the Marine Safety Plan. Work was ongoing in standardising the incident and accident reporting system in the three harbours and work had already been conducted in Weymouth to make it easier for members of the public to report incidents.


Weymouth Harbour General Directions DOTX 463 KB

To consider a report from the Weymouth Harbour Master.

Additional documents:


The Harbours Manager presented the report for the Weymouth Harbour General Directions, outlining the reason that the powers of General Direction were being brought into force.


Proposed by Cllr Penfold and seconded by Cllr Wiliams.


Decision: That the Harbours Advisory Committee recommend that the Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel, and the Environment approve the Weymouth Harbour General Directions to be brought into force.


Weymouth Harbour - Future Development and Open Port Duty pdf icon PDF 263 KB

To consider a report from the Weymouth Harbour Master.


The Harbours Manger presented the report to the committee, he noted that in order to support the implementation of the Harbours Business Plan, it would be beneficial to amend the Open Port Duty, by way of a Harbour Revision Order. It was explained that for the future development ambitions (outlined in the recently approved harbour business plan), to be met, and for the wider Peninsula to be developed, the Open Port Duty needs to be amended by way of a Harbour Revision Order.


Members felt positively that the users of the harbour were being consulted before general consultation and approved of progressing with a Harbour Revision Order to amend the Open Port Duty.


Proposed by Cllr Penfold and seconded by Lee Hardy.

Decision: That the Harbours Advisory Committee recommends that the Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel, and the Environment gives authority for the Weymouth Harbour Consultative Group to be consulted on the proposal to apply for a Harbour Revision Order to restrict the Open Port Duty.


Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 176 KB

To consider the Harbours Committee Workplan.


The forward plan was presented by the Head of Environment and Wellbeing, he noted that in addition to the standing items, a report on the Weymouth Quay Regeneration Project, the consultation on the Harbour Revision Order and an update on the Harbours Business Plan, would come to the next meeting.


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.