Agenda and draft minutes

Basingstoke Canal Joint Management Committee - Thursday, 21 November 2019 10.05 am

Venue: Mytchett Canal Centre, Mytchett Place Road, Mytchett, Surrey, GU16 6DD

Contact: Joss Butler 

Items
No. Item

3518.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

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    To report any apologies for absence.

     

    Minutes:

    Apologies were received from John Marsh, Ben Carasco, Liz Murnaghan and Alastair Clark.

     

    Clive Grattan acted as substitute for John Marsh and James Freemantle acted as a substitute for Liz Murnaghan.

     

3618.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING: 26 JUNE 2019 pdf icon PDF 112 KB

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    To agree the minutes of the previous meeting as a true and accurate record of proceedings.

    Minutes:

    Kevin Davis highlighted that he was present at the last meeting was marked absent in the minutes. The Chairman agreed to amend the minutes to correct the error. 

     

    Subject to the above amendment, the minutes were agreed as an accurate record of the meeting.

3718.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

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    All Members present are required to declare, at this point in the meeting or as soon as possible thereafter

    (i)            Any disclosable pecuniary interests and / or

    (ii)           Other interests arising under the Code of Conduct in respect of any item(s) of business being considered at this meeting

    NOTES:

    ·         Members are reminded that they must not participate in any item where they have a disclosable pecuniary interest

    ·         As well as an interest of the Member, this includes any interest, of which the Member is aware, that relates to the Member’s spouse or civil partner (or any person with whom the Member is living as a spouse or civil partner)

    ·         Members with a significant personal interest may participate in the discussion and vote on that matter unless that interest could be reasonably regarded as prejudicial.

     

3818.

QUESTIONS AND PETITIONS

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    To receive either any questions or petitions.

     

    Notes:

    1.    The deadline for Member’s questions is 12.00 noon four working days before the meeting [15 November 2019].

    2.    The deadline for public questions is seven days before the meeting [14 November 2019].

    3.    The deadline for petitions was 14 days before the meeting, and no petitions have been received.

    Minutes:

    There were no questions or petitions received.

3918.

FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME AND ACTIONS TRACKER pdf icon PDF 64 KB

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    To review the actions tracker and forward work programme of the Joint Management Committee.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Witnesses:

    James Taylor, Strategic Manager – Basingstoke Canal

     

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1. In regards to Action A5/19, the Strategic Manager highlighted that a response had now been received from Natural England detailing why the Basingstoke Canal did not receive the Water Environment Grant (WEG). Officers highlighted that letters of support were given more weight than had been expected, but that it was not always possible given short application windows. The representative from Natural England reassured the Committee that there would be other opportunities for funding in the future.
    2. The Chairman asked members of the Committee to send any suggestions for future items to the Strategic Manager as soon as possible.

     

     

4018.

APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS pdf icon PDF 109 KB

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    To outline the procedure for the appointment of Special Interest Group (SIG) representation to the Basingstoke Joint Management Committee (JMC) as co-opted Members and invite the Committee to agree one re-appointment and one appointment of co-opted Members for the period to May 2021.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Declarations of interest:

     

    None

     

    Witnesses:

    James Taylor, Strategic Manager – Basingstoke Canal

     

    Key points raised during the discussions:

     

    1. The Strategic Manager introduced the item and highlighted that the Committee comprised of 18 voting Members and up to 8 co-opted non-voting representatives of particular special interests, and noted that there were now two vacancies amongst the special interest groups
    2. The Strategic Manager first recommended that Galleon Marine LLP, who were at the end of their 4 year appointment, be appointed for a further two years to May 2021 which would bring their membership in line with the other special interest groups. The Strategic Manager went on to recommend that  that Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council were appointed as a Special Interest Group until May 2021. To fill vacancy amongst the special interest groups left by the National Trust, River Wey and Godalming Navigations stepping down.
    3. A representative from the Basingstoke Canal Society stated that this was a positive development and that they hoped to work closely with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council in the future.

     

    Resolved:

     

    That the Committee:

     

    a)     Agreed the re-appointment of Galleon Marine LLP for a further two years until May 2021;

     

    b)     Co-opts Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council as a Special Interest Group until May 2021.

     

4118.

FORECAST OUTTURN 2019/20 AND FORWARD BUDGET 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 192 KB

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    The purpose of this report is to brief Members on the financial outturn of the Basingstoke Canal Authority.

    Minutes:

    Declarations of interest:

     

    None

     

    Officers:

    Jane Lovett, Honorary Treasurer, Hampshire County Council

    James Taylor, Strategic Manager, Basingstoke Canal

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.     The Honorary Treasurer introduced the report and provided members with a brief summary. It was highlighted that overall the current forecast showed that the Canal would need to make a draw from its reserves of £94,000 rather than the planned balanced budget. Members noted that the budget produced for 2020/21 suggested a draw on reserves of £36,000 which related to tree works which were being rescheduled from 2018/19. Members were pleased to hear of a £30,000 saving in the budget resulting from the good performance of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) fund which had led to past pension costs now being fully funded. They agreed to use the saving in the budget for the next three years to fund a part-time Canal Project Officer on a three-year fixed term contract. The position will be reviewed in three years’ time and hopefully the saving can at that point be permanently repurposed. Members noted that currently staff did not have the capacity to fully support the capital programme and the potential campsite scheme therefore the proposed post would help address the staffing aspect of the delays in delivering the capital programme. Officers concluded by stating that the overall finances of the Canal were currently acceptable but that it would become more strained going forward. There was ongoing work to find alternative sources of income which would be essential to relieve some of the pressure.

    1. A representative from Fleet Town Council raised concerns that Surrey Heath Borough Council and Runnymede Borough Council were not contributing the full amount to the funding formula. The representative from Surrey Heath explained that this was a long standing issue and that there was an appetite at Surrey Heath Borough Council to support the Canal in the best way it could. It was stated that the upcoming General Election was restricting the amount of work being done but that it was likely a meeting to discuss the situation would take place with Surrey Heath Councillors in the new year.
    2. In regards to A3/19 of the previous meeting, Members noted that the Leader of Surrey Heath Borough Council had not yet responded to an invitation to visit the Canal Centre. The Committee agreed to resend the invitation as an email and include Cllr Paul Deach and Cllr Sarah Jane Croke.
    3. Members noted that Scotland Bridge car park had not been refurbished yet and had remained on the capital programme for some time. Officers informed the Committee that this was due to the lack of staff resource already noted, but highlighted that once the car park was operational there would be an opportunity to implement parking charges for its use as previous agreed. Officers noted that Runnymede Borough Council had offered to pay for parking meters to implement parking charges which would more than make up for the shortfall in their  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4118.

4218.

CANAL MANAGEMENT REPORT pdf icon PDF 157 KB

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    To inform the Committee of actions taken by the Strategic Manager and BCA Canal Manager in managing, maintaining and operating the Canal; and report the work of the Conservation Steering Group.

    Minutes:

    Declarations of interest:

     

    None

     

    Officers:

    Fiona Shipp, Canal Manager, Basingstoke Canal Authority

    James Taylor, Strategic Manager, Basingstoke Canal

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1. The Canal Manager introduced the report and provided members with an overview. Members noted the following:

    a)     The Ranger Team had not been able to conduct all annual inspections on the Canal’s assets. One of the Ranger posts will prioritise inspection work going forward to make sure all inspections are achieved.

    b)     Maintenance and inspection work carried out by the Basingstoke Canal Authority since the last meeting.

    c)     Officers highlighted the importance of volunteers supporting the work of the Canal. Members noted that officers were looking to train volunteers to become volunteer leaders to be able to conduct more specialised work.

    d)     The Basingstoke Canal Authority had conducted a detailed boat use survey which revealed that much of the channel was well below the 1300 powered boat movements limit per year, but that Colt Hill and the Canal Centre were already at around the maximum level of use. Officers stated that, in addition to the management of the site, a more detailed boat survey was required because the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for Transport (DfT) had issued a call for evidence on carbon emissions from the inland waterway sector .

    e)     Noted developments on the Asset Management Programme as outlined in the report.

    f)       Members noted that planning permission was received in March from Surrey County Council for the Canal Centre Campsite redevelopment and the grant application was submitted at the end of October. It was stated that If the grant was successful officers hoped to see contractors on-site by early February for a 30 week build.

    1. A Member of the Committee asked whether the Canal allowed for schools and corporate teams to spend the day at the Canal to volunteer help and complete activities. Officers explained that in the past they held education programmes but this was stopped due to the strain on resource. There was still an opportunity to do pond dipping and a boat trip which was self-led and required attendees to hire equipment to allow the Canal to make an income.

     

    Actions/ further information to be provided:

     

    None.

     

    Resolved:

     

    The Basingstoke Canal Joint Management Committee noted the report. 

     

4318.

BASINGSTOKE CANAL AUTHORITY RISK REGISTER pdf icon PDF 129 KB

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    To inform the JMC of the key risks associated to the BCA Canal Partnership after annual review and to ensure risks are mitigated as far as possible.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Declarations of interest:

     

    None

     

    Officers:

    James Taylor, Strategic Manager, Basingstoke Canal

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.     The Strategic Manager introduced the report and provided a brief summary. Members noted that there was minimal change from the previous year and that the key risks continued to orientate around funding.

    2.     Members noted that the risk on the failure to comply with the Reservoirs Act leading to enforcement orders and prosecution had been reduced due to a new Supervising Engineer being employed.

    3.     In regards to the risk on the excessive use of back pumping systems leading to prosecution by the Environment Agency, officers confirmed that this was to be deleted as Legal advice agreed that abstraction licences were not required for backpumps.

     

    Actions/ further information to be provided:

     

    None.

     

    Resolved:

     

    The Basingstoke Canal Joint Management Committee noted the annual revision of the Risk Register. 

     

     

4418.

REPORT OF THE BASINGSTOKE CANAL SOCIETY pdf icon PDF 875 KB

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    To provide the Committee with an update of the work of the Basingstoke Canal Society since the last meeting of the Committee.

    Minutes:

    Declarations of interest:

     

    None

     

    Officers:

    Phillip Riley, Chairman (Basingstoke Canal Society)

    Ken Sankey Co-Vice-Chairman (Basingstoke Canal Society)

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.     The Chairman of the Basingstoke Canal Society introduced the report and provided Members with an outline of the report. Member noted the following:

    a.     Details of the construction of new permanent boat moorings at Farnborough Road, Aldershot. It was highlighted that the whole cost of the job was being borne by the Canal Society and that the work was being undertaken entirely by volunteers.

    b.     The Canal Society had agreed to provide £12000 (in two annual instalments) to fund training programmes for volunteers. It had been agreed with the Basingstoke Canal Authority that suitably trained volunteers could undertake more skilled tasks in order to release rangers for other duties.

    c.      Members noted details of the two trip boats which Gross receipts from boat operation exceed £57000.

    d.     Members noted that the Canal Society was developing plans to secure alternative sources of funding. These plans include increasing its membership, encouraging members and supporters to leave legacies to the canal, approaching local businesses for support, and pursing grant opportunities.

    2.     The Chairman thanked the Basingstoke Canal Society for the positive report and congratulated them on the events of the rafting day which was held in September 2019. It was noted that Galleon Marine sponsored the event.

    3.     Members of the Committee discussed the positive work of the Accessible Boating Association which was based at the Galleon Marine Boatyard and provided an opportunity for disabled people to enjoy day boat trips on the Canal. The Committee noted that some Council’s provide Councillors with a grant which can be used to fund charities like the Accessible Boating Association. Some Members of the Committee considered allocating a portion of their grant to support the work of the Association.

    4.     The Member from Woking Borough Council provided an outline of the environmental goals of the Borough Council which included promoting the use of electric boats. The Committee noted that pollution caused by canal boats was a national issue and was something that needed to be considered. The Strategic Manager confirmed that a report on the subject would be considered in the new year. Following further discussion, it was noted that every Council present at the meeting had declared a climate emergency.

     

     

    Actions/ further information to be provided:

     

    None.

     

    Resolved:

     

    The Committee noted the report.

     

4518.

DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING

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    The next meeting of the Basingstoke Joint Management Committee will be held on 24 June 2020.

    Minutes:

    The Committee noted that its next meeting would be on 24 June 2020.

     

    It was noted that there was a possibility the next meeting would be held on a canal boat on the Basingstoke Canal. The Chairman informed members that they would receive confirmation after the meeting.