March 2021 Newsletter
Dear PMBHA members,
As lockdown starts to ease, hopefully we will all be able to get back to the marina in April.
Your Interim Committee has been busy with virtual meetings with the marina management and the Pwllheli Harbour Consultative Committee. Many thanks to those of you who have sent us emails, we have been trying to address the current issues, as much as we are able to, and our presence at the Pwllheli Harbour Consultative Committee allowed us to express your views to members of Gwynedd Council and other local interested parties. Thank-you also to everyone who has filled in their details on the yellow sheet included in the marina contract letters. We have had over 200 replies of which 100 are new contact details that we can reach with newsletters, updates etc. If you haven’t filled in your sheet then please do so, as we need to comply with data protection.
We have put together the following updates based on the above-mentioned meetings. If anyone wants to read the document produced for the Pwllheli Harbour Consultative Committee meeting it is available on the Gwynedd Council website here: Agenda for Pwllheli Harbour Consultative Committee on Tuesday, 16th March, 2021, 6.00 pm (llyw.cymru)
Port Marine Safety Code
This sets out a national standard for every aspect of port marine safety. Gwynedd harbours have been inspected and are in compliance with the code.
A hydrographic survey of the harbour shows that the marina depth is ok, the depth at the harbour entrance is not too bad, but the channel is shallow. Royal Smalls (from The Netherlands) has been awarded the main dredging contract (about £180K) but cannot come as scheduled due to COVID restrictions. The channel will not therefore get dredged until Sept this year. Contracts to dredge the harbour entrance using land-based machinery have been awarded locally and will start in April. There is also still a major problem with removal of spoil. Most of the sand spoil has been moved to beaches but the mud in the stilling lagoon is a costly problem. The existing original Stilling Lagoon has a remaining capacity of 4,000 m³. The aim is to remove 10,000 m³ from the approach channel. Some siltation will be able to settle in the adjoining lagoon on route to the existing de-watering pipeline. Material dredged by cutter suction from nearer to the harbour entrance will be deposited on land which is used to store material dredged from the harbour entrance. A separate stilling lagoon will be created by using existing material and water will discharge into the harbour from the temporary lagoon. This material should be suitable for dewatering, due to size and weight of particles.
In 2020/21 the Hafan and Harbour committed financial resources for
Maintenance of navigational aids and beacons.
Inspection and maintenance of pontoon and mooring facilities.
Maintenance and operation of the of machinery and boats.
Maintenance of land, structures and street furniture.
Maintenance and purchase of tools and equipment including PPE safety equipment.
Fees and Charges 2021/22
As mentioned in the last newsletter, the annual pontoon berthing prices have been pegged at the 2020/2021 prices with a marginal increase in electricity and some increases in visitor berthing and outer mooring fees. At the Pwllheli Harbour Consultative Committee meeting I commented that the lack of increase in fees was welcomed by berth holders although we do note that prices for harbour moorings and visitor berths have increased a little. I pointed out that berth holders had been hoping for some kind of loyalty bonus, given that no-one had been able to access their boats during the first lockdown when the marina was shut and most people were unable to access their boats during the second lockdown as they could not travel. Several berth holders with caravans had received discounts from the caravan site and were hoping for a discount from the marina. The response was that this was a reasonable point and a loyalty bonus which could be announced towards the end of this year ready for next year’s fees was being considered. This is not by any means guaranteed and the marina have to balance their books. However, this is promising!
On a separate note, some berth holders who are paying by direct debit were concerned that they may end up paying double fees if the periods for 2019/20 and 2020/21 overlap. We have had feedback that people who have spoken to the council have been able to adjust their dates so that does not happen and the council staff have been quite accommodating.
All Aids to Navigation within Pwllheli Harbour are working and on station. The Fairway Buoy will be changed for the summer Fairway Buoy during April; this buoy is of a larger diameter to the winter buoy. During the summer months the winter buoy will be serviced ready for deployment in October. Seasonal Speed Limit marker buoys will be in position by the inner harbour entrance in preparation for the 1st May 2021.
New Weather station and Web Cam
The weather station is operational and available on the Hafan website. It can also be downloaded as a phone app. Three web cams will eventually be linked to the Hafan website and will enable viewing of live images of the Hafan/Harbour and the channel entrance. This has been delayed due to the pandemic.
The marina are effectively 4 staff down, due to staff leaving or being on long term sick leave. Three new staff have been appointed and should start soon, plus there are ideas about increasing resources which will hopefully come to fruition this summer.
At the Pwllheli Harbour Consultative Committee meeting, Wil reiterated the new policy on boat keys, ie that keys would no longer be retained at the marina office. I said that the issue of boat keys not being kept by the marina has alarmed many berth holders as they see it as a safety issue. How will the marina be able to check up on boat problems if they do not have a key? We understand the problem with contractors and COVID risk to marina staff but feel there must be a better solution. Also, the new policy would not be temporary during COVID times but would be a permanent change, to free up marina staff from having to stay in the office to deal with contractors. There has now been further discussion and the marina have agreed to continue to keep keys for berth holders’ personal use. However, they will stop dealing with contractors. This means that berth holders’ will have to make their own arrangements with contractors. This will probably take some time to sort out and we will be happy to help, if needed. It does mean though that the marina can still deal with any emergencies that may arise on the boats.
New Pwllheli Lifeboat Station (Click here)
Hope everyone has a good Easter and see you all soon!
Jenny Moss (Chair) and Committee Members of PMBHA Interim Committee