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PWC Minutes Jan 2004


Minutes of Meeting in the Taw Room, Civic Centre, Barnstaple.
Monday, 26th. January 2004 at 7.00p.m.

1.PRESENT: Andy Bell, Chairman, (NDCCS), Rose Day, (TTEForum), Tony Pratt, (TTEF, NDYC), Pat Ferguson, (Torridge DC), Jeremy Bell, Phillip Waters, (Northam TC), Jon Turner, (NDDC), Owen Slade, John Hartnoll,(Braunton Marsh Inspectors), Tim Squire, (NDWaterski Club), Paul Smith, (NDYC), Ashley Black, Martin Cawthorne, (Braunton Jet Skiers), John Allen, Jen Farrow, (RNLI), Dave Perkins,MBE, (RMChivenor), Tom Donovan, Conor Flashman, Andrew Boyd, S. Flynn, Nick Welch, M.Flashman, (Ceasar Boat Club), Jenny Watts, J. Knight, Chris Beer, (Personal Watercraft). Ann Humphris, Hon Sec. (TTEF).

2.APOLOGIES: Marguerite Shapland, (Braunton PC), Barclay Millar, (TorridgeDC), Jeanette Smith, (Boat owner), Andrew Williams, Scott Easton, (Personal Watercraft User).

Introduction: In her introduction Rose Day said that the previous meeting had achieved a really firm basis for agreement which was acceptable to all parties involved. It was now hoped that the present meeting would succeed in building upon this success, in order to make positive plans for the 2004 season.

3.MINUTES of the PREVIOUS MEETING held on 9th. June 2003:
Andy Bell asked the meeting if they would accept the minutes of the previous meeting and if there were any points of accuracy that needed to be recorded. The minutes were adopted.

The Ceasar Thundercat Boat Club through their spokesperson, Tom Donovan, explained that they had formed a club.
He informed the meeting that:-
i) The club had a small membership for social water use.
ii) Each member and craft had a visible registration number.
iii) Each member was expected to adhere to the rules, regulations and code of safe practice governing the estuary.
iv) All members have insurance as boat owners.
v) The club was for local owners of the Ceasar Thundercat, with a 50hp outboard engine, and registered with the RYA.
Rose Day suggested that a copy of these details should be placed with the Marsh Inspectors, the White House, TDC, NDDC, and Harbour Master. She also encouraged thundercat owners, TDC,and NDDC to meet.
Pat Ferguson, TDC, requested that a photo of the craft should be lodged with TDC so that everyone could recognise them.
Tom Donovan agreed to do this and said he would send a photo of the craft with all the information requested on the back to all interested parties.
Chris Beer reported on behalf of 4 Jetski watercraft users from Barnstaple wishing to launch. They do not have a club but all craft have numbers displayed, and all carry insurance.
Ashley Black spoke for the Chivenor group. They have 3 members only. All carry insurance and have a strong code of conduct but do not have a recognised club. There had been no positive outcome from the discussions with the Ceasar Thundercat Club, with a view to forming a club. 
It was reported that there was a difficulty in obtaining insurance for jetskis, but personal watercraft had no problem.
Ashley Black made a request for help from the District Councils with regards to insurance for jet skis and also that water users should be monitored at launch sites. 
Pat Ferguson replied that launching at Appledore was a problem because there were no funds to employ a warden. 
It was suggested that employing a warden had been very successful in previous years.
The imposition of charges was discussed, whether to charge for a licence or to charge to launch and use the estuary, and whether all water craft users should be charged.
The Marsh Inspectors suggested that their biggest problem was policing the activities of those wishing to launch from the White House.
Pat Ferguson, on behalf of the TDC, said that they had no objection to charging for launching but it was not cost effective.
Tony Pratt suggested that the only way of policing is at the launching site. The only answer is to pay to launch and show proof of insurance. Cost effectiveness could not be used as a reason because what is the cost of a life?
The biggest problem appeared to be the inefficient byelaws.
Barclay Millar, TDC, in his e-mail tendering his apology for absence from the meeting, wrote that he had spoken to the Authority’s Solicitor and understood that the Authority would amend and re-write the byelaws to suit the outcome of the meeting. He also added that he recognised the importance of, and the necessity for, the Authority to resolve these problems.
The RNLI spokesperson said that the RNLI was hoping to train lifeguards on Instow Beach and would be using Rescue watercraft and surf life saving boats. Whilst they favoured charging for registration, the education should be considered paramount.

Andy Bell asked if the basic rules for registration used by the Thundercat users were acceptable to all other users. They agreed that they were.

Andy Bell said that there now needed to be a formal framework for action for all users of Fast Leisure Craft as they would now be termed.
Rose Day suggested that representatives of each club should be represented on the Forum to keep an on going contact with each of these groups and to resolve any future conflicts
Tony Pratt proposed and Philip Waters seconded the proposal:
“The meeting congratulates the members of the new Ceasar Thundercat Club and looks for a close liaison between them, the Local Authorities and other user groups on the Estuary with special reference to membership, insurance, launching, use of approved zones, charging, registering, policing and other related matters, and encourages efforts of other Fast Leisure Craft Users to form similar clubs for this purpose.
Also the meeting requests that in the situation where self regulation by a club or clubs is not forthcoming, the Local Authorities involved take action to ensure that Fast Leisure craft do not pose a risk or nuisance to other users of the Estuary and its environs.”
The Meeting adopted the proposal.
Pat Ferguson made a commitment to take the proposal back to committee and requested that the Fast Leisure Craft Users should attend the Committee meeting to present their views and ideas to the committee.
Rose Day insisted that the two councils must work together. She added that the Forum speaks for the whole estuary so that all interested groups are represented, and potential conflicts can be resolved.
For this season Andy Bell requested that all water users should register by way of a document stating the owner’s name, Insurance details and a photograph of the craft. This should be sent to him so that he can forward copies to everyone who needs them e.g. TDC, NDDC, Marsh Inspectors Forum etc.
To:- Andrew Bell, Esq.,
Bideford Station,
Bideford, Devon.
EX39 4BB.
Andy Bell also asked the RNLI if they were present on the water, would they educate water users They replied that they would but they do not have byelaw rights and so they could only advise.

It was decided that all proposals would go forward from the meeting.

7. Date of Next Meeting: 
The date of the next meeting would be Monday 14th. June,2004.

The Meeting ended at 20.45.