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PWC Jan 2005

Minutes of the Meeting in the Taw Room, Civic Centre, Barnstaple
Monday, 31st. January 2005 at 7.00p.m.

1. PRESENT: Mrs. R. Day, Chairman, (Instow Parish Council/TTEF), Mr. T. Pratt, (NDYC, TTEF), Mr. A. Bell, (NDCCS also Rep NDDC) Mr. B. Totterdell, (NDCCS), Mr. J. Allen, Ms. J. Farrow, (RNLI Poole), Mrs. W. Dale, (RNLI Appledore), Mr. P.D.Waters, (Northam Town Council), Mrs. M. Shapland (Braunton Parish Council/NDDC), Mr.P. Mullen, (Fremington Parish Council/NDDC), Mr. P. Hammond, (ND JS&PWC Club), Mr. J. Brooks, (ND Water ski Club), Mr. C. Beer, Mr. A. Williams, Mr. S. Easton (Barnstaple Jet Skiers), Cpl. D. Perkins MBE, (RMB Chivenor), Mrs. A. Humphris, Hon. Sec., (TTEF).

2.APOLOGIES: Lt. Col. M. Portman, (MOD), Mr. R. Dyer, (Braunton Marsh Commissioners), Mr. M. Wilkinson, (NDDC), Mr. J. Knight and Ms. J. Watts (Barnstaple Jetskiers), Mr. T. Donovan, (Ceasar Boat Club).

3. MINUTES of the PREVIOUS MEETING held on Monday 14th, June, 2004:
It was proposed by Tony Pratt, seconded by Philip Waters, that the Minutes be adopted. It was passed unanimously.

The Chairman gave a brief update confirming that a Joint Working Party has now been set up, made up of North Devon District Council, Torridge District Council, the Northern Devon Coast & Countryside Service and the Taw Torridge Estuary Forum. This Working Party met for its first meeting on 2nd December 2004, and is due to meet again at a date in February.
Andy Bell of the NDCCS has been appointed by the two District Councils to convene and facilitate this Joint Working Party. He has also met with access owners around the estuary, in mid January.
Both of these meetings were reported to the Taw Torridge Estuary Forum meeting held on 17th. January.
Since the last FLC meeting, the NDDC and TDC Liaison Officers to the Taw Torridge Estuary Forum have changed. The new liaison officers are: 
Brian Holme and Martyn Isaac for NDDC - Ray Webster for TDC.
The Chairman is to write to the outgoing officers to thank them for their efforts.
The Chairman has also written to the Chief Executive of NDDC, to thank the Council for its help and generosity in allowing us the use of a room at the Civic Centre free of charge for the FLC meetings.
The Chairman reported that she had had a long and very constructive meeting with Malcolm Brown, the Strategic Director of Torridge District Council, where she was able to discuss all aspects of Fast Leisure Craft in the Estuary.
At the FLC meeting in June, it had been agreed that there should be individual class meetings in the first week in September, to help FLC users with the photo ID and registration process. Unfortunately, these meetings did not take place, as it had proved impossible to organise the meetings.
The signs at the Churchfield Slip, Appledore will now be a part of the ongoing discussions by the Joint Working Party in order to produce a unified policy for the whole of the estuary.
The RNLI will be providing a beach lifeguard service for Westward Ho! beach for the summer season from 1st. May to 30th. September 2005.

(a) Joint Working Party: Andy Bell – Convenor and Facilitator of the Joint Working Party.

Report of the Joint Working Party meeting held on 2nd. December 2004.
Andy Bell explained that the Joint Working Party consisted of officers and members of NDDC, TDC, the Northern Devon Coast & Countryside Service and the Taw Torridge Estuary Forum.
The purpose of the Joint Working Party is:
“To define the combined local authority response to the issues of managing fast leisure craft in the estuary whilst considering the impacts on the surrounding coastline.”
The following actions were agreed:-
 To set up a common approach for controlling craft on all of the slipways in the estuary including those under non local-authority ownership.
 Set up a meeting of all access owners to agree the common set of standards and signage of various slipways to be done before the FLC Forum meeting.
 Investigate methods of applying the controls over these slipways using independent agencies.
 Report this meeting to the next FLC forum meeting.
 Investigate the common application of the Devon County Council Byelaw 15 using delegated powers to apply the byelaw with other agencies.
 To investigate the benefits of setting up a new specific harbour trust or authority that can also have other functions relating to the Biosphere Reserve and its management.
Report of Joint Working Party meeting with access landowners held on 11th. January, 2005:
Andy Bell reported from this meeting that-
• NDCCS will be applying for Objective 2 funding for a scheme that will look at managing access (land based as well as water) around the estuary.
• The feasibility of a shop/kiosk in the car park at the Churchfield Slip, Appledore would be investigated
• Commercial craft should be reminded about speed limits and the Estuary Code.
• The existing registration scheme operated by the Northern Devon Coast & Countryside Service should be promoted
• A Scale of charges for launching to cover all kinds of craft would be investigated.
• All problems experienced on the water and at launching sites should be logged with the NDCCS – this information is needed to build up a picture of when and where problems are arising, so that it can be passed on to the Officers of the Councils. 
Marsh Commissioners, at present, charge a flat rate for everyone using the Toll Road onto Braunton Burrows They only allow those jet skiers/personal watercraft users to pass who can show that they have registered with the NDCCS.
The Next Meeting of the Joint Working Party would take place on Tuesday 15th. March. 2005, and not in February as previously agreed.
The Chairman stressed the need for an interim strategy to be in place for the 2005 season.

(b) Registration: Ben Totterdell – NDCCS:
Ben Totterdell reported that:
 He was willing to help anyone registering Fast Leisure Craft with the photo ID.
 Registration numbers should be marked on craft.
 Everyone registering would have to obtain 3rd. party insurance.
 All incidents of irresponsible behaviour, dangerous practice, disregarding speed limits, etc., on the water, as well as related incidents off the water, should be reported to him at the Northern Devon Coast and Countryside Service, to be included in the Incident Log. This information is needed to report back to the District Councils, so that they can be made aware of problems on and off the water.
 The RNLI also agreed to make its incident data available to the Northern Devon Coast and Countryside Service for inclusion in the Incident Log.

(c) Club Reports: ND Jet Ski and Personal Watercraft Club:
Phil Hammond reported that there had been a poor response to registration. The main reason being that there was no enforcement of rules or checking for insurance at launch sites. He felt that Jet skiers still felt victimised by the signs suggesting that only jetskiers were banned from launching at the Churchfield Slip, Appledore.
Three jetskiers at the meeting reported the verbal abuse they had suffered at the launch site, even after they had tried to persuade other Fast Leisure Craft users to abide by the Code of Conduct. One jet skier had even had his tyres slashed on an earlier occasion.
It was stressed that all incidents should be reported to Ben Totterdell at the NDCCS, who would then pass the information on to the two District Councils.
Phil Hammond stated that there is an urgent need for control on the slips as he felt that people will not obtain insurance until these controls are in place.
The RNLI informed the meeting that they would be training lifeguards in the estuary again in 2005: 
The dates are: April 18th –29th, May 9th – 20th, and July 4th – 15th. Personal watercraft will be used in this training, all of which will be carrying the RNLI logo and will be registered with the Northern Devon Coast & Countryside Service.
Dave Perkins (RMB Chivenor) asked if the extra craft that was being trialled by ATTURM in the estuary would be a problem. He was assured it would not. He also offered to look into the possibility of the three jet skiers present at the meeting launching from Chivenor.

5. The Way Forward: Andy Bell as convenor and facilitator of the Joint Working Party made the following points:
 Data would be collected from estuary users and agencies e.g. RNLI, and also from the Environment Agency during their fisheries patrols.
 The Joint Working Party will set up a programme that will be assessed on its efficacy and financial sustainability – a charging structure will be necessary to run the scheme.
 A common approach needs to be adopted around the estuary, so that the same rules apply to all launch sites.
 Information systems need to be updated

Tony Pratt stated that longer notice of Joint Working Party meetings should be given – convening meetings at short notice meant that many of those involved were not able to attend.
He also asked for it to be minuted that thanks were due to Rose Day for all the hard work in moving this issue forward.

6. Closing Remarks. 
The Chairman announced that this meeting would be the last in this series of FLC public meetings, because the Joint Working Party has now been set up, ensuring an integrated approach to the use of the Estuary, and the ND Jet Ski & Personal Watercraft Club and the Ceasar Boat Club have been established to represent the interests of Fast Leisure Craft users. Both these clubs now have full representation on the Taw Torridge Estuary Forum.
The work of the Joint Working Party will, in future, be reported through the Taw Torridge Estuary Forum, and the FLC clubs will be able to pass on these reports to their members.
An updated contact list from the FLC public meetings will be made available to the Northern Devon Coast & Countryside Service and to the two District Councils, for their use in contacting any of the individuals involved, and for convening any public meetings that may be necessary in the future.
Contact details of the members of the Joint Working Party, i.e. the Northern Devon Coast & Countryside Service, the two District Councils and the Taw Torridge Estuary Forum, were circulated at the meeting, and will be sent out with the Minutes, so that everyone will know how to make contact if they wish to do so.
Although there will be no further public meetings for the present, everyone still has an important role to play by:
• Spreading the word amongst FLC users and visitors about:
• Estuary Code of Conduct
• Designated Zones
• Registration Procedures
• Club Membership etc.
And by reporting incidents of dangerous and anti-social behaviour, etc. to:
Ben Totterdell,
Northern Devon Coast & Countryside Service,
Bideford Station,
East -the-Water,
Bideford, North Devon. EX39 4BB
Tel: 01237 423655
E –ml
(An out-of-hours telephone answering machine is in operation)
In conclusion the Chairman thanked the Northern Devon Coast & Countryside Service and the two District Councils for moving forward on the Joint Working Party. She also thanked Phil Hammond, Tom Donovan and Nick Welch for their support, and for their work in setting up their clubs, and Tony Pratt and Ann Humphris of the Taw Torridge Estuary Forum for all of their help. The Meeting closed at 8 10p.m.