Agenda and minutes

Watchet Harbour Advisory Committee
Wednesday, 5th June, 2019 5.30 pm

Venue: Visitor Centre, Harbour Road - Watchet. View directions

Contact: Sally de Renzy-Martin, Chair of Committee 

No. Item




Election of Chair


Election of Harbour Board Representative


Minutes of the previous meeting held on 27 February 2019


Matters Arising, not on the agenda


    PM highlighted the action points raised at the previous meeting that included the railings on the West Quay being painted, notice of fees being displayed in the Trailer Park and whether the slipway had been jet washed.

    CR read out the update sent from CB on harbour matters.  DM confirmed that the slipway had now been cleaned.

    MS highlighted that there had been no progress with the fishing stakes and that CB should not be left to tackle the owners and suggested that an external company should be brought in to carry out the works to remove them.

    DM highlighted that CB was in the process of installing bollards along the East Quay to prevent vehicles gaining access.

    MD queried whether there had been any progress on the works needed on the harbour wall.  MS believed that no compliant tenders had been returned.


Removal of Mud. Update including Mud Sub-Group


    MS advised the committee that he had attended a Mud Group meeting with CH prior to the committee meeting.  They were still trying to develop a financial package based on the WID working effectively and that they needed to look at possible funding for a capital dredge.  MS was looking to collaborate with MD on that.

    SdRM read out an update from CH on marina matters.

    SdRM had spoken with SY for an update from the Charter Boatmen and he had confirmed that the last spring bank holiday neither chartered boatmen were booked for any trips and had lost money and there was a concern on the hours they needed to work to enable them to take bookings.  She raised concern that the report on the harbour made it sound that the mud was not a problem and gave a recent example of a boat getting stuck in the mud when it had visited Watchet due to the confusion with the light system and the lack of response when they had tried to radio the marina for advice before their approach to the harbour.  SdRM expressed the urgency required for the dredging and raised concern that if the WID did not arrive soon, possible litigation action could take place. 

    MD confirmed that anyone who radioed the marina, were told to enter with caution.

    SdRM and LW both raised concern on the marina gate and the previous repair works that were carried out.

    MS raised concern that a finance plan needed to be put together as the marina was originally a regeneration project but now needed money spent and the arrival of the WID.

    SdRM wanted reassurance that once the WID arrived, it would not be sent off to other areas for months at a time.

    JB queried what the time scales for the works were once the WID arrived.  MD advised that the crane had arrived on site to assist with the installation of the WID.  Once the WID arrived, he anticipated that the final works would take 7-10 days to complete.

    JB queried whether there was a maintenance plan in place for the WID.  MD yes there would be scheduled maintenance for the WID along with the other equipment at the marina.  He anticipated that over approximately 12 tides, the WID could bring the mud level down by 1-1.5 metres.  He believed that the WID would work well.

    MS advised that the WID would not work on compacted mud and that was why a capital dredge was still required.

    PM highlighted that once the WID was working, they needed to record the effectiveness and keep a record of the figures which would help with the maintenance schedule.

    MS queried what would happen with the gate.  MD advised that they could leave the gate partially open whilst the mud was being cleared out.

    MS expressed concern for the chartered boat owners and the town of Watchet and wanted to take a report to SWT Full Council.  He hoped that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Report from the Harbour Board


    MS advised that the Harbour Board would have a new composition after the elections held in May 2019.  He was happy to arrange for a visit for the new councillors to show them the harbours.  SdRM hoped that MS would report the issues raised by the WHAC at the next Harbour Board meeting to assist the new councillors and to assist with moving forward with getting the boats back into the harbour.

    Action:  MS to discuss a visit to the harbour for the new councillors.


Harbour Matters


    SdRM advised harbour matters were covered in CH update which had been read out to the committee.

    MS requested that a depth gauge was placed on the outer harbour.

    MS raised concern over the recent incident in Minehead with an inflatable and that the red warning flags were not flown.  DM gave information on gale scales and off shore winds.  SdRM suggested warning signage could be used instead of the red flags.  MS suggested a wind sock could be flown at all times and be used alongside warning signs.

    SdRM asked whether the Ports of Minehead and Watchet report could be taken off of the SWT website.  MS would raise that the Harbour Board.

    MS raised concern that there was only a part time assistant harbour master that covered both Watchet and Minehead Harbours and that wasn’t enough.  PM would recommend to the Harbour Board for the recruitment of a full time harbour master.

    DM advised the Watchet Sea Scouts had passed both their RYA and Admiralty inspections.

    Action: MS and PM would report to the Harbour Board the points raised at the WHAC.


Marina Matters


    SdRM advised that majority of the marina matters had been covered.  She hoped that they would see TT in the area in the near future.

    MD advised that he had requested a sign directing members of the public to the public conveniences along Harbour Road.  PM advised that he had seen some signs and believed that they were waiting for SCC to put them up.

    MS showed the committee pictures of the tunnel and advised that the sewerage overflow was still in place which was why the tunnel was not being used due to the concern over water quality.


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