PWLLHELI MOORING AND BERTH HOLDERS ASSOCIATION
NOTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
HELD ON 31st MARCH 2018
Present: Dave Dewsbury (Chairman), Jan Ranner (Secretary), David Bayly (Treasurer), Richard Smith (RS), Brian Edmonds (BE), Paul Langford (PL), Nan Langford (NL), Bohdan Borzykowsky (BB), Ruth James (RJ), Malcolm Mackley (MM), Heather Thistleton (HT), Alan Jones (AJ).
Apologies were received from Sarah & Paul Collins, Dennis Robinson
1. Chairman's review of 2017/18
DD gave his annual review to the meeting. This review can be found at the end of these Notes.
2. Passing of Association's Accounts
The Treasurer David Bayly presented the accounts. These were proposed by DD, seconded by PL and agreed by the meeting.
3. Election of the Officers
The Chairman proposed that there be no change to the current Officers.
Dave Dewsbury Chairman (DD), David Bayly Treasurer (DB), Jan Ranner Secretary (JR).
Agreed unanimously by the meeting.
4. Election of the Committee including new members
Agreed unanimously by the meeting as proposed by DD.
5. Agreement of Membership fee for 2019
Once again there will be no fees payable by berth holders. Membership to PMBHA will be paid by Gwynedd Council as part of each berth holders' annual berthing contract. However, anyone who is not a current berth holder but has an interest in Pwllheli Hafan and Harbour, may pay an annual membership fee of £5.
****End of formal meeting****
Discussion on "Review of the Hafan and Harbour"
The Chairman(DD) introduced Llyr B Jones(LBJ) from the Maritime Unit, Cyngor Gwynedd Council and Cllr Angela Russell Llanbedrog local member. LBJ told the attendees that he would welcome any questions during the Q&A session.
The Chairman advised the meeting that PMBHA have been invited to participate in a "Review of the Hafan and Harbour" along with other local bodies. The first meeting was held recently and was attended by the following:
Representing PMBHA: DD, Phil Ranner (PR seconded).
Representing Cyngor Gwynedd Council: Cllr Ioan Thomas Cabinet Member (Economy)
Llyr B Jones, Economy & Community Dept
Cllr. Hefin Underwood Local member Pwllheli
Cllr. Angela Russell Local member Llanbedrog
Wil Williams Hafan Pwllheli
LBJ addressed the members and outlined the reasons for holding these Review meetings:
As a starting point to initiate discussions, the Project Board have prepared the following draft criteria (these are not presented in any order of priority).
To strengthen the economy by being commercially viable and as a result support marine businesses and local employment
To provide an economic catalyst by attracting and maximising the use of the harbour
To promote the Welsh language
To provide Financial benefit to the Council
To be able to attract Investment
A business model which is sustainable
A model which can be implemented
Decide upon Key Objectives and which actions should be taken for the best interest of all Harbour and Hafan users.
The final version of the Key Objectives will be put on the PMBHA website when received from LBJ AP/JR
Questions from the floor:
Member Bob Kennedy referred to a newspaper article giving current numbers of berths taken up both in the Hafan and Harbour and asked whether the figures quoted were real. DD replied that those figures are not true and the number of confirmed berths to date is similar to this time last year. Hafan berthing numbers are not declining they increased last year by circa 10% over the previous year. The change to LOA and the reduction in small boat berthing was instrumental in this increase.
Costs of Berths - Discussion followed regarding the rise in the costs of berths and whether this could be the main factor as to why the take up of berths is dropping. DD responded that the introduction of the banding system has been one of the factors but couldn't rule out the rise in costs.
Profits & Maintenance - A member asked LBJ whether all the profits from the Hafan/Harbour were used for the maintenance or was it shared between other Gwynedd Council budgets.
DD advised that the profit of the Hafan for 2016/2017 was circa £450,000, after dredging accruals of circa £200,000 and Crown Estate charges of £150,000. The £450k profit was handed to Gwynedd Council for their use.
LBJ asked the members for their ideas for improvements to generate revenue and improve the Hafan/Harbour.
A member asked whether any money was set aside for ongoing maintenance. LBJ stated that there is a plan in place to replace pontoons within the next 10 years - this item is included in the draft Objectives. A member stated that toilet blocks and generally the marina are looking very tired.
Social needs ashore - Discussion continued concerning an alternative place to eat/meet etc. and that Plas Heli is not always a viable venue due mainly to events and that alternative competition should be seen as a positive thing.
AJ asked LBJ how much subsidy does Plas Heli receive from Gwynedd Council. LBJ replied none. Plas Heli is a limited company with a business plan.
Misc ideas/Suggestions - DB stated that the pile moorings could be increased by putting pontoons between them. Also that more dinghy storage could be provided and more small boat facilities.
Discussion followed regarding the true visitor numbers as well as Park and Launch customers. An increase in the charges by Gwynedd Council to the Park and Launch operators was suggested.
Member Dic Williams suggested that a local affordable rate be included in the Key Objectives. DD stated that indeed the Harbour take ups had dropped by 50% in the last three years.
LBJ advised that talks are once again ongoing with a hotel developer to build on land adjacent to Plas Heli.
Bob Kennedy asked LBJ whether the Hafan could be moved nearer to town. RS stated that the original plans for the Hafan should be reviewed by LBJ.
A member asked LBJ whether a 6 month contract rather than 12 could be offered which may make berthing charges more manageable and affordable. Also, why are berth holders who pay for a 12 month annual contract then asked to pay onshore charges? Also why are owners over -wintering their boats ashore offered discounts, whereas those berth holders with contracts are not offered discounts.
It was felt that members needed to be offered more imaginative deals regarding both their Hafan/Harbour contracts and onshore storage. DD asked Wil Partington to explain the reasoning behind his onshore charges. Wil said that the boatyard land was also owned by the Council and that he had to pass on rate charges to his customers.
Another suggestion from members would be a "Welcome Centre" in the old CHPSC building. The local Councillor for Llanbedrog Angela Russell agreed with this suggestion and said she would take this up as part of the Review.
Marketing - Discussion took place concerning the current lack of marketing the Hafan and LBJ stated that the Maritime Unit would be encouraging Holyhead boats to Pwllheli in light of the damage sustained to the marina there. In general, LBJ agrees that more marketing must take place this year and advised the meeting that the Council will be putting a team together to address this.
PL stated that the park and launch boats should be encouraged to come into the marina on a permanent basis rather than just weekends. This may help fill marina berths, however attention would have to be given to small boat charges to enable this. Such a move would also help with the noted problem of expense hindering younger people from entering the sport.
LBJ in summing up said the three main issues raised by members are:
Lack of social environment
Lack of dredging and general maintenance
Safety Issues - PL raised the problems which arose from a power cut the previous morning. The outcome of such a cut was that the bridgehead mechanism was in the locked position. This also meant that no-one could get in or out of the Hafan. Members agreed that this situation must be avoided in future by manning the Hafan office 24hrs rather than the gaps in the current shift changes.
LBJ agreed to look at the situation as a matter of urgency. AP:LBJ
Dredging - DD gave the status of the dredging timescales which are starting between 9-20 April. This work should get the entrance back to where it has been for the last 2 years. Any more dredging will have to wait until the Autumn for a number of reasons:
- Restrictions are in place regarding the height of the stockpile. The land is owned by the Waterboard not Gwynedd Council.
- There are seasonal restrictions on trucks going through Gimblet Rock Caravan site so any movement now has to wait until September.
DD discussed depositing the dredged silt material onto Aberech beach. There are currently constraints to doing this but DD asked LBJ whether these could be overcome. LBJ responded that the Council would favour this option eg; depositing it onto the beach. The constraints currently preventing this option will be pursued. As Gwynedd Council is the Harbour Authority they can make provisions within the Harbour Act however, there is a process to follow. This would be an option and appropriate in the circumstances. Talks are ongoing.
RS described the original plan to install 2 training walls.
DD said that a crib groyne and a wall was originally put in place instead of two walls. The groyne now needs to be repaired. The work has been delayed until the Autumn, an agreement needs to be made concerning the SAC (Special Area of Conservation) and the Council is waiting for an Engineers report.
JR advised members that a beach clean up would be taking place on Saturday 12 May and asked for members to volunteer. The clean up would be followed with a complimentary BBQ for volunteers. All proceeds raised through raffles and donations would be given to the RNLI. More details will follow via emails and the website.
JR also asked members for pictures to be included on the website. These should be emailed as a JPEG or similar to the usual email address.
The meeting concluded and DD once again thanked LBJ, Cllr. Angela Russell and PMBHA members' for their attendance.
Chairman's Review 2017/18
Thanks for attending today and for your support throughout the year.
Many thanks also to your Committee for their continual help and support, especially Jan, Ruth & Bohdan.
2017 was a very poor boating year due to the weather, though a few Members did manage to find the sunshine!
Last year was a milestone once again for the PMBHA -
RECORD ACTIVE MEMBERS
RECORD BANK BALANCE
NO MAJOR COMPLAINTS
BERTH OCCUPANCY BACK
OVER 300 AGAIN
Will this continue in 2018? I predict the first 3 will but on the others, we will have to wait and see after the boats take to the water.
Relations with the Hafan and Maritime Officers are also very positive. We have good communications with all.
Your Committee does not get success on all the things it would like but we do on many of them. However, my biggest disappointment was in not being able to secure the vacant Plas Menai room for use by the Harbour and Hafan berth holders' and their friends. This room is being let by tender to maximise revenue on behalf of Pwllheli.
On your behalf I would like to express thanks to Wil and his staff for looking after the boats so well during the recent major storms and cold weather. Our thoughts go out to the less fortunate in Holyhead Marina.
This brings me to the Dredging situation:
Many of you will have read in the recent Hafan Newsletter and the notices on the bridgehead, that extreme caution should be taken when navigating the Entrance.
The major storms and gales have contributed to a large increase in the material deposited in the entrance, channel, marina and Plas Heli basins. We can discuss this in more detail during the Q & A session following the formal AGM. JUST TO SAY BE AWARE!
Dredging of the entrance starts next week followed shortly afterwards by the usual sledging of the approach channel. Work on the basins will be addressed in the Autumn.
With your approval in a few minutes we will have new Committee Members, Alan Jones and Heather Thistleton. Both bring a wealth of sailing experience and knowledge of the local waters and the Hafan.