Agenda and minutes

Basingstoke Canal Joint Management Committee - Friday, 15 July 2022 1.35 pm

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

Contact: Joss Butler 

No. Item



    • Share this item


    Apologies were received from Kate Tuck, Arthur McCaffrey, Bill Hansell, Ian Moore, Paul Deach and Riasat Khan.  


    John Ranson acted as a substitute for Arthur McCaffrey.


MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING: 26 November 2021 pdf icon PDF 214 KB

    • Share this item

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


    The minutes were agreed as an accurate record of the meeting.



    • Share this item

    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


    ·         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.



    Rod Cooper declared a non-pecuniary interest in that he was a member of the Basingstoke Canal Society.



    • Share this item

    To receive either any questions or petitions.



    1.    The deadline for Member’s questions is 12.00 noon four working days before the meeting [11 July 2022].

    2.    The deadline for public questions is seven days before the meeting [8 July 2022].

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


    There were 5 member questions, which had been published in a supplementary agenda together with the replies. There were no supplementary questions. The questions and replies were published in a supplementary agenda on 15 July 2022.


Action Tracker and Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 187 KB


Verbal report on dredging pdf icon PDF 2 MB

    • Share this item

    For the Strategic Manager – Basingstoke Canal to provide a presentation on dredging.



    James Taylor, Strategic Manager – Basingstoke Canal


    Key points raised during the discussion following the presentation:


    1.    The Strategic Manager – Basingstoke Canal made a presentation on Dredging, which is attached as Appendix 2 to the minutes.

    1. The working group made up of senior officers and the Canal Society had agreed to meet on a six-monthly basis starting in September, but could meet more frequently if required.
    2. Whilst a dredging reserve would ideally be built up, much of the reserves had been depleted and only the minimum amount was being maintained in the reserve.
    3. That it was essential to prioritise work that ensured public safety, but dredging was not essential for safety. The necessary dredging could be done through using capital funds from either Hampshire or Surrey.
    4. It cost between £75k - £130k per km to dredge the canal properly.
    5. The Chair commented that the biodiversity or environmental angle in raising funds could be used to carry out a full channel dredge - a once in a generation activity.
    6. A new dredger would cost approximately £250k, but the possibility of replacing the hydraulics on the old one was being investigated.
    7. Whilst spot dredging could be programmed from the dredging reserve, this would not enable dredging to be done along the whole length of canal.
    8. The Canal Society offered to assist with fundraising for a dredging fund.




    The JMC noted the verbal report.


Final Accounts 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 445 KB

    • Share this item

    The purpose of this report is to present the final accounts of the Basingstoke Canal for the year ended 31 March 2022, to the Joint Management Committee for approval.



    Jenny Wadham, Honorary Treasurer


    Key points raised during the discussion:


    1.    The Honorary Treasurer introduced the report and made the following comments:

    a.    Capital expenditure was currently funded by Hampshire and Surrey County Councils for specific repairs and improvements.

    b.    The draw from reserves of £31 650 represented a significant improvement on the £145 000 budgeted draw, which was partly due to planned works which would be undertaken in the 2022/23 financial year.

    c.     On the positive side, there was a cost saving of £29 000 on principal surveys and an increase of income of £30 000 in boat licences.

    d.    There was significant cost related to the clean-up following the storms in February, although this was offset by a decrease in maintenance costs.

    e.    The works to create the Holland Moorings at Farnborough were slower than anticipated, and this had pressured the rental income budget. The moorings are now being gradually filled.

    f.      Whilst the Rosebud Cruise sales were impacted by Covid restrictions, this shortfall was partly offset by increased Santa cruises later in the year.

    g.    The balance on the unallocated reserve as at 31 March 2022 was £697 852, which equated to just under nine months of budgeted expenditure.

    h.    The final outturn for 2021/2022 was better than budgeted and forecast, however, a sizeable part of the improvement was due to expenditure that had slipped into the following year.

    1. Whilst the total partnership contributions made up the majority of the Canal’s income, there were still some partners who did not pay their share.
    2. This was an historical issue and certain partners had taken unilateral decisions to reduce or cease their contributions.
    3. The biodiversity and environmental benefits could be used to persuade members to pay their contributions.
    4. There had also not been an increase in member contributions whilst the cost to maintain the canal had increased substantially.
    5. Whilst this matter was discussed every year by the committee, ways had to be found to convince members to pay their agreed contributions.


    Actions/ further information to be provided:


    1. An information sheet on the different benefits of the canal to be compiled, which could be used as a lever by members during discussions on funding/membership fees. – Strategic Manager – Basingstoke Canal




    The final accounts for the 2021/22 financial year were approved by the committee.



Canal Management Report pdf icon PDF 474 KB

    • Share this item

    To inform the Committee of actions taken by the Strategic Manager and BCA Canal Manager in managing, maintaining and operating the Canal since the preceding meeting, and look forward work likely to happen in the 2nd half of 2022; and to report the work of the Conservation Steering Group.



    Fiona Shipp, Canal Manager


    Key points raised during the discussion:


    1.    The Canal Manager provided a summary of Operations and Maintenance; Staffing; Events/Visitor Services; Conservation and Volunteers. Full details can be found in the report.

    2.    The Strategic Manager – Basingstoke Canal provided a summary of Partnership Finance. Full details can be found in the report.

    3.    The decision by Rushmoor Borough Council to almost halve their contribution and not notifying the Basingstoke Canal Authority(BCA) partnership 12 months in advance as per agreement, was very disappointing and everything possible should be done to get them to reverse their decision. The Rushmoor Executive should be publicly questioned on why they took this decision and what the negative effect on the canal would be.

    1. The committee discussed various ways on how the non-payment of membership fees should be addressed, which included press releases and lodging formal complaints.
    2. Rhododendron cutting was normally done by the BCA, but because of staff shortages this had not been done for a number of years. Any control had to be agreed with the relevant landowners. The Canal Society had assisted in doing some cutting in certain areas.


    Actions/ further information to be provided:


    1. A formal question be put to or a formal complaint be lodged with the Rushmoor Borough Council Executive on their decision to decrease their membership fees to the BCA – Chairman / Vice-Chairman.  
    2. Angling Societies/Fishing Associations to be asked to make presentations to the committee on how they police their areas – Strategic Manager – Basingstoke Canal




    The Committee noted the content of the report, and authorised the Strategic Manager and Treasurer to:

    a)    authorise additional expenditure over the budgeted amount of up to £24,000 on spot dredging to be funded from the allocated Dredging Reserve;

    b)    authorise additional expenditure over the budgeted amount of £28,000 for the purchase of an Asset and Issue Management system for the BCA to be drawn from the Unallocated Reserve; and

    c)    Allocate the outstanding membership fees of Rushmoor Borough Council to Reserves if they were recovered.



Potential funding sources for the Canal Partnership pdf icon PDF 331 KB

    • Share this item

    This paper is in response to items on funding for the Canal in the Committee’s action tracker (A4/19 and A1/21). It seeks to consolidate previous discussion about alternative funding sources.



    James Taylor, Strategic Manager – Basingstoke Canal


    Key points raised during the discussion:


    1.    James Taylor provided a summary of the paper and noted that a wide variety of ideas and responsible persons were proposed.

    2.    Cllr Glen noted that he was concerned about the long- term strategy for funding sources. Members on constituent councils changed and there was often no continuity on ideas and strategies. He referenced an example in the Thames Basin Heaths Partnership where developers had to make ongoing contributions in an area where a certain bird species had been threatened and asked if something similar could not be done for the long-term care of the canal. Counties, districts and boroughs could not continue their long-term funding; a possibility could be to put statutory legislation in place by lobbying the appropriate persons. There were organisations with similar assets and it was certainly worth giving this idea a go.

    3.    It was noted that Section 106 funds could only be used for capital items associated with a particular development.

    4.    A template letter from the BCA, which could be used as guidance when lobbying was done, should be drafted.

    5.    The leadership in the counties, boroughs and districts should lobby the Secretary of State directly to get the necessary traction.


    Actions/ further information to be provided:


    1.    To revisit the Planning Guidance document with support from Planning Officers at Hampshire County Council / Surrey County Council, to assist in gaining Seciton106/ Community Infrastructure Levy funds from developers – Strategic Manager – Basingstoke Canal

    2.    That a guidance template be drafted with details on how future funding of organisations, similar to the Basingstoke Canal Authority, could be ensured and possibly be entrenched in statute. That the leadership at county, borough and district level be lobbied once the guidance has been drafted – Chairman and Vice-Chairman.



Update: Lock Cottage, Deepcut pdf icon PDF 324 KB

    • Share this item

    To note an update report on Lock Cottage, Deepcut.


    The Chair thanked James Taylor for the update report.


Basingstoke Canal Society Update Report pdf icon PDF 385 KB

    • Share this item

    To note an update report from the Basingstoke Canal Society.

    Additional documents:


    Report presenter:

    Tony Balch, Basingstoke Canal Society


    Key points raised during the discussion:


    1.    The representative from the Basingstoke Canal Society provided a summary of the report and highlighted some key issues:

    a.    As an organisation, the BCS had experienced directors and team members who were able to assist the BCA. They had two former planners who scoured planning applications on a daily basis and looked for opportunities for funding (e.g. section 106 funding), objections to applications, etc. It took some of the responsibility off BCA officers by trawling through the documents.

    b.    Trip boat operations were very important to the BCS, which in non-Covid years represented approximately two-thirds of the Society’s annual income. This introduced thousands of people to the canal each year.

    c.     With reference to earlier mention about an information sheet on the benefits of the canal, the Society had a social media team which reached a large number of followers ad their expertise could be used.

    d.    Important projects included the installation of electric charging points, and the trip boat Kitty would be replaced with an all-electric trip boat.

    e.    The funding structure for the canal had to be revisited. The BCS was willing to assist with fundraising projects. It also provided over 28 000 hours of volunteer labour in 2021, but could not provide money for dredging boats and other projects at will.

    2.    In response to Cllr Glen, who expressed his gratitude for the good co-operation between the BCA and the BCS and who asked if ideas for new projects were discussed between the organisations, Tony Balch noted that there were regular meetings between various teams of the two organisations.


    Actions/ further information to be provided:


    The full presentation by the BCS to be circulated to all committee members and be attached to the minutes as Appendix 3. – Committee Manager




    The JMC noted the report.




    • Share this item

    The Committee is being asked to adopt the revised Terms of Reference of the Basingstoke Canal Joint Management Committee (JMC) to require members to appoint named deputies.


    The Chair introduced the report, which recommended that the committee approved the revised terms of reference to require members to appoint named deputies.




    The recommendation was approved.



    • Share this item

    The next meeting of the Basingstoke Joint Management Committee will be held on 3 November 2022.


    The committee noted that its next meeting would be on 3 November 2022.