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(These are the questions put to, and the answers from, John Packman, CEO of the Broads Authority, in the Ask JP #2 session. I have not included the questions and answers in the 'Proposed New Tolls Structure' thread, as this thread was started by JP as an announcement, rather than a question put to him, and many of the questions that arose remain unanswered.

Please do not use this thread for further discussion - any further comments can be added to the original threads, which can be found here. Thank you.)


Q.1 At various places around the Broads, the Broads Authority have erected ‘No Mooring’ signs on private land. These signs carry the weight of Navigation Bye Law 59(1), which says: "The master of a vessel shall not moor the vessel at any place where the Authority has prohibited mooring by a Notice displayed at or near that place." Contravention of that BL is a criminal offence, which carries a maximum penalty, on conviction, of a fine not exceeding Level 3 on the Standard Scale (currently £1,000).

The purposes of the Bye Laws are “...for the good management of the navigation area, the conservation of its natural beauty and amenities and the promotion of its use for purposes of recreation.” (Section 10(3) Norfolk & Suffolk Broads Act 1988).

Some of the signs have clearly, and understandably, been positioned at locations which have been over-used as ‘wild’ or ‘trespass’ moorings, to allow for the recovery and/or renovation of the bank. Others have been positioned where such bank erosion, or any other conservation or navigation issues, are not evident, and appear simply to serve the purpose of a landowner who does not wish boaters to ‘trespass’ moor. Then there are others that appear to be redundant, having been in place for so long that they are virtually hidden by undergrowth that has grown up over years.

1.What specific criteria are used when the placement of a ‘No Mooring’ sign on private land is considered?
2.Who makes the decision to make the placement?
3.What influence does the landowner have in the making of the decision?
4.Does the landowner have to agree to the placement?
5.How often, and by whom, is each decision reviewed?
6.Is there a central register of the locations of the placements and reason(s) each placement was made?
7.How is the expression in BL 59(1) ”…or near that place” to be interpreted? Within 10 yards of the sign? 20 yards? 400 yards?

A. The majority of no mooring signs have been placed on land by the Environment Agency where they have undertaken flood defence works.

The Authority will use ‘no mooring signs’ on land in its ownership when there is either a safety concern over people mooring in that location or conservation concerns, such as erosion.  This will be determined from the site risk assessment which is done on an individual basis for each of our sites. The Authority will not typically put ‘no mooring’ signs on private land.  This would be up to the landowner to manage.  

However, the Authority has in the past placed ‘no mooring’ signs on private land where works have been undertaken to remove trees or scrub from the river bank to allow for vegetation to re-establish or as part of an agreement for other works in an area. In these instances it would have been part of the agreement with the landowner to allow works to be completed on the site. When the banks have stabilised we would then look to remove the signage.  We have programmed the removal of some of this signage over this winter including along the upper Bure between Wroxham and Belaugh. We do not have a record of where this signage has been used.

Regarding the interpretation of ‘or near that place’ in many cases this is obvious with either a change in bank (such as vegetation where mooring would not be possible anyway or the start of a piled section, etc.) or marked by a fence, post or similar.  Where is not obvious the signs would be used to mark the end of the limits.

As Marshman has suggested if any Members of the Forum have any particular sites in mind please let us know.

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Q.2 When the current BA web site was created, the advice from the ‘digital experts’ was to only transfer archived committee papers from the preceding three years. There are now Navigation Committee papers available on the web site back to 2009.

When the proposed new web site is created, will the same criterion apply...only the last three years-worth of committee papers to be transferred?

A. When the Authority renewed its corporate website three years of historic papers was the minimum required. Therefore what the Authority set out to store when the site was created with plans to increase that as and when we could with limited resources and subject to requirements. That archiving work is now completed.

However the proposed new website is not the corporate one but rather a refresh of www.enjoythebroads.com which as the tourism site will not feature Broads Authority committee papers.

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Q.3  1.How does the tendering process work for the BA website?

2. Who are the "trade partners"?

3. Are they trading partners of the BA or Headscape?

4. How was Headscape chosen to design the site?

5. Was there a tendering process involved in this?

6. Does the £26,700 include hosting and any changes to the site?

7. Is this an annual charge?

A. The site concerned is the Enjoy the Broads one and the Authority will be getting three invitations to quote for the content work but, because the coding we want to use is held by Headscape, will be using them to carry out the design of the site.

We have no trade partners but will be working with Broads Tourism’s marketing steering group to shape the site for the benefit of visitors.

The £25,000 includes all design and content work and the changes to the design mean we can move to the National Parks portal hosting which is free.

This is a one off charge, there is no additional annual charge involved in either content, design or hosting.

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Q.4 As the thurne mouth moorings being unavailable now, are there any plans to get any BA Moorings near Acle?

A. The Broads Authority has identified Acle Bridge as one of three priority bridge sites for providing demasting moorings (the others are Ludham Bridge and St Olave’s).  As visitor moorings are currently available at the Acle Bridge Inn and the Acle Bridge Stores we have not prioritised the Acle area for the provision of visitor moorings.

I am hopeful that we will be able to reopen the Thurne Mouth and Boundary Farm moorings but should lease negotiations for those moorings prove to be unsuccessful we will reassess the need for additional visitor moorings on the River Bure between Thurne Mouth and Acle.

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Q.5 Can the BA please explain the rationale of closing the yacht station at Great Yarmouth during the Winter?

Whilst I appreciate that the moorings are tidal and care needs to be exercised when mooring there, they are arguably no more dangerous than Burgh Castle, Berney Arms or Reedham Quay which stay open, and far less remote than Berney Arms and Burgh Castle. Given the shorter day light hours making a Winter crossing with the correct tide much more of a challenge and the fact that there are no other overnight moorings in Yarmouth and given the huge gap between Stracey Arms and Berney or Burgh Castle, shouldn't the yacht station remain open, even if unmanned? After all Reedham quay remains open but unmanned.

A. The Authority only has a seasonal lease for Great Yarmouth Yacht Station, which for the current agreement runs from 14 March to 6 November 2016 and it is Great Yarmouth Borough Council (GYBC) which requires closed signs to be put up during the winter.

There are safety concerns as the water level can overtop and leave sediment on the quay, and there are access issues as the flood gate and pedestrian access gates along the flood wall are usually kept closed over the winter.

There is also a potential for ice on the quay and GYBC is keen to prevent  any access by either land or water  for the two above safety concerns.

The site cannot be unmanned, requiring two members of staff for safety reasons, and in the winter period very few hire boats are on the system which has the obvious impact on the potential income that could be gained from the facility in the winter months to pay for staffing. In an emergency situation there is nothing to stop anybody from mooring on the site when closed but it is simply not possible to get off the site on foot.

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Q.6 Crome's dyke leads from the River Ant to Crome’s Broad and was used by wherries collecting produce from Crome’s Farm, so I’ve been told. Part-way along the dyke is Johnny Crowe’s staithe, which, while still visible, is in a very sad and neglected state.

The land to the south of the dyke is owned by the BA (How Hill). The land to the north is common land, managed by Catfield PC. A short distance past the staithe there is a sluice, topped by a locked footbridge, which prevents further navigation. There is a footpath along the northern side of the dyke, which goes to Sharpe Street in one direction and which, in the other direction, carries on along the upstream bank of the Ant, to the parish walk across to Fenside in Catfield.

In 2008, when a planning application was submitted by the EA to carry out flood defence work at How Hill, the Catfield PC’s response to the consultation ended with “As BESL will be building a footbridge here for BA use, it should be built to a specification suitable for public use to avoid the cost of subsequently upgrading the bridge. Crowe’s Staithe Dyke should be dredged within the BESL work programme while they are working on the adjoining bank, an enhancement which would restore Johnny Crowe’s Staithe to use as public mooring.“

I understand that the EA removed some trees from the water and may have done some dredging of the dyke, but nothing sufficient to bring the dyke back into proper navigational use.

The BA have stated “...that the BA is committed to protecting the status of staithes and of vehicular rights of way to staithes. Also that it will encourage the re-use and restoration of derelict and abandoned staithes.”

The water depth is sufficient (at about 4’) to allow most, if not all, Broads boats to use the dyke, but overhanging trees and vegetative encroachment reduce the available width so much as to make it largely impractical, although a Cleopatra 700 (length 22’ 8”, beam 10’, draft 2’), and a smaller boat, were permanently moored there until quite recently.

Has the BA any commitment at all to improving the dyke to a point that navigation is again practical, and even ‘wild’ mooring (both of which the PC is supportive), or is it their intention for the neglect to continue to a point where the dyke is totally overgrown?

A. The staithe and north bank of the dyke are registered common land and consequently have status as open access land under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.  The dyke is part of the navigation and is navigable by small boats.  The enclosure award of 1802 (NRO C/Sca 2/67) describes the site ‘as a public staithe to be used by the owners and occupiers of Estates in the said parish of Catfield for laying and depositing corn, manure, and other things thereon’. The staithe, which was effectively a mooring basin, still has status as a public staithe but has long been silted up.

Catfield Parish Council registered title to the staithe and the rond to the north of the dyke and as landowner they have not asked the Broads Authority to reinstate the staithe.  The reinstatement of the staithe has not therefore been considered or identified as a priority project for the Authority.  The costs of a project to reinstate the staithe which would involve major excavation and would, in all likelihood, be extremely expensive.  The Authority would have to discuss this with the landowners.  Additionally this project would require an Appropriate Assessment under the Habitats Regulations as a plan or project which has the potential to affect a European designated site.

As regards tree clearance on the dyke the management of trees to prevent obstruction of the navigation is the responsibility of the landowners.   I believe the majority of the trees on the dyke are on the parish council owned bank and we would have to discuss this with them.  While the Authority does carry out tree clearance and work with private landowners to improve navigable width this has to be prioritised.  There are many areas where boaters are asking us to carry out tree clearance works and over recent years the amount of tree clearance work we do has increased dramatically but it has to be focused on areas where it will deliver the greatest benefit for navigation.  In this case it is unlikely that we would be able to prioritise the work required.

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Q.7 I've noticed that the number of Mariners Notices has massively decreased this year.

To the casual observer it looks like the BA are doing nothing on the rivers, while I know that is not true, don't you think that triver users need to know what is going on more frequently?

I recently went to Reedham to watch the YNR. I went by car as I had no idea what the situation was about the work being done on the quay.

This could be easily fixed by a part time information gatherer, will the BA do this?

A. A notice to mariners (NTM) advises mariners of important matters affecting navigational safety, including new hydrographic information, changes in channels, closures and restrictions to the river, aids to navigation, and other important data within our area of jurisdiction.  The notices are a requirement and are published in the Public Notices section of the local press and on our website.  We therefore only use these to provide information when necessary and provide general information through our blog, website, press releases, and social media like Facebook and Twitter.

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Q.8 If my memory is not Completely useless, were we not going to get some 40 odd metres of new moorings downstream of the closed Thure Mouth moorings ? All I have seen there all season is a rust bucket tied up, with occasional Body pumping the rain out !

A. Thanks for the question - please see responses to similar questions elsewhere.

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Q.9 With the number of 24hr moorings that have recently been lost and the closure of the Woodbastwick boardwalk  how does the Authority see its Relationship with local landowners and the prospect of future negotiations.

A. A large number of the moorings we provide are leased from private landowners and generally we have a very good relationship with those landowners.  This is borne out by the fact that we have consistently increased the amount moorings we provide with the amount of frontage managed by the Authority with free moorings increasing from 5,969 metres to 7,730 metres at over 60 sites since the adoption of the Authority’s mooring strategy in 2006.

We continue to have productive negotiations with landowners and will hopefully be leasing over 200m of new frontage in the coming months.  From time to time we have to renegotiate leases and the majority of those leases get renewed. However, we use independent property advisors to value the land we lease and we cannot go against their advice.  A few landowners have recently been looking to derive commercial rates of income for the sites we lease and we are not in a position to agree to this.

We are continuing to work with stakeholders to identify ways of increasing mooring capacity throughout the system.

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Q.10 Can we rest assured that now this trial has ended and the results will be put before the Navigation Committee that the safety and welfare of all river users will take precedence over the commercial interests of one individual, especially as he has now closed a popular mooring to suit his own agenda.

A. The provision of stern on mooring in this location was a limited trial to determine if it could be managed safety and effectively.  The aim was to see if it was possible to increase capacity at this busy location. The trial has now come to an end and we are currently reviewing its outcomes.

Safety considerations will be key to the decision to allow or refuse stern on mooring at the Ferry Inn for future years.  The following conditions were put in place as part of the trial:
- Boats arranged as per an agreed plan to ensure continued visibility round the bend.
- Mooring attendant on site to assist boaters to both moor up quickly and efficiently and safe release of vessels back into the channel.
- White lights placed on the bows of vessels moored stern between sunset and sunrise.

Compliance and effectiveness of these measures are part of the trial review criteria and the rangers have kept records in this regard. Findings of the review will be taken to a Navigation Committee in the New Year.

The moorings workshop referred to actually recommended that we should try to maintain our existing level of mooring provision apart from reducing the length of mooring we manage at Hoveton Viaduct and exiting our lease for Thorpe River Green as these sites were underused.

We were unfortunately unable to reach agreement on the terms of a lease for the moorings we had at Woodbastwick and Perci’s Island as the landowner was asking for a level of rent way in excess of the figure the Authority’s  property advisers recommended.  The Authority’s Navigation Committee has given clear advice that we should not pay rental costs that are too high when we have to take on maintenance liability and public health and safety liability from the landowners for those sites.  If we did agree to high rental charges we would set an unfortunate precedent for other lease negotiations.

We continue to try to increase the number of moorings we provide and are currently in negotiation on leases for several sites.  We are also working with organisations such as the Broads Hire Boat Federation and the Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association to look at other sites and suggestions for increasing mooring capacity.

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Q.11 Will the BA loose any money from brexit?

A. As you will know the Authority’s two major sources of core funding are National Park Grant from Defra and income from tolls from our boat owners. We are not directly funded by the European Commission for any of our core activities.

We are also rather unusual in that the maintenance of the navigation area is entirely funded from our toll income – the Canals and Rivers Trust, the Environment Agency and Scottish Canals all receive substantial grant in aid from Government for the maintenance of their navigations.

However, the exit from the European Union will have several major implications for the Broads and the Broads Authority – agri-environment payments and environmental legislation being two of the big ones – including the loss of opportunities to access European grants.

You may be aware of the two successful projects STEP (Sustainable Tourism in Estuary Parks) and PRISMA (Promoting Integrated Sediment Management) we have delivered in recent years with European partners, from Holland, Belgium and France. Collectively they brought in approximately £1.5 million of additional funding for our work. This money would not be available once the UK has left the EU.

We are currently working on a programme, called CANAPE, to access funding from the EU towards the improvement programme for Hickling Broad. I hope this proceeds because we could do with the extra money – but there are currently some doubts about whether it should be led by a UK partner and we wonder if any of the continental organisations would be willing to take it on.

Having said all that there may be some opportunities from BREXIT, including the possibility of devising a Broads specific payment system to support our local farmers like the original Halvergate Grazing Marshes Scheme.

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Q.12 Rivers users really do not want to pay to much for their tolls, and a lot of us think that the current way of calculating tolls is unfair.

We think that if the tolls were based on cubic size, ie water draft x air draft x beam x loa

That would be a more fair formula for smaller boats. Has the BA looked into this?

A. The Tolls Working Group looked at a whole range of possibilities for improving the structure for the tolls. One of the overriding considerations was that it should be relatively simple, making it easy to understand and collect. So while I can understand the principles behind the 3 dimensional suggestion it would have real practical problems in measuring and determining the height of every vessel.

You will have seen the proposals by the Tolls Working Group and one of the key elements was to make the structure fairer for smaller boats as you suggest Richard (administrator) – so that a small motor boat paid £60-70 rather than close on to a £100.

My understanding is also that the EA is not raising its charges. However, you need to bear in mind that Defra contributes to the costs of maintaining the navigation and has indicated to the EA that it should move towards a full cost recovery model – so I am anticipating that at some point EA charges will have to rise very substantially.

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Q.13 What are the planned increase for the lock through

A. Mutford Lock costs us £18,000 a year in operating costs in addition to the £25,000 a year we put into the reserve fund for capital costs. The Tolls Review Group considered how we funded this and thought it was most appropriate and fair to recover at least some of the operating costs of the lock from those who benefit from using it.

Their recommendation is to increase the single fair from £13 to £30 while a return would be £45. The Authority is also considering a multi trip discount.
This may seem like a big rise but it only covers part of the operating costs. If we were to try to recover all of them plus the reserves from users a single trip would need to be priced at £93!

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Q.14 With the pressure on moorings, why do the rangers not stop bank fishing at Bramerton at the times the signage prohibits it? I have seen rangers ignore people with fishing gear spread over the bank, more than once and I don't believe it is a case of them not being seen.
Is there not a case these days for bank fishing to be prohibited at all BA 24 hour moorings between June and, say, the end of September?
(I know that's 2 questions but they do inter- relate.)

Edited to add:
I know anglers can be asked to move but too many folk are reticent to confront the issue fearing retribution and we all know it has happened.

A. Rangers are instructed to enforce angling policy at all moorings where there is a restriction on angling but may have other priority incidents to attend to and therefore choose to deal with any breaches at a later time. Please do alert us however of any incidents which you believe weren’t dealt with so we can follow up.

We only took the decision to restrict angling at four sites (Beccles, Bramerton, Postwick and Worlingham) because problems were occurring at those sites and we see no justification for increasing the number of restrictions or applying a blanket restriction at all moorings when we are not aware of angling causing any major problems with mooring capacity.  We would, however, review individual sites if problems occur in the future.

Supplementary question

What powers do the rangers have to enforce the policy?

Answer NOT ANSWERED ON THIS THREAD

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Q.15 My question is what is the BA  stance on hireboats cruising late in the evening / just got dark?  Reason for the question is there has been a rise in hire boats leaving it very late to get moorings  or still about cruising , evening coming out the hireboat yards late.
Also…What are the BA proposing to do - if any thing - regarding hire craft that are cruising after sun set?

The amount of hire craft that are not only cruising after sun set but as soon as it start to gets dusk and they can not find a mooring I have found that a larger number of hire boats are going at very hi speeds looking for moorings.
I was at cockshoot and at least 6-7 hire craft came past there after sunset doing well over the speed limit.

It is getting worse !
EDIT - I see a similar question has been asked so maybe move this to Steves thread?

A. Only vessels displaying the correct lights are permitted to navigate after sunset or before sunrise as set out in the Navigation Byelaws 1995. Sunset and sunrise times are set out in the tide table books. Most hire boats are not fitted with lights and should therefore not be navigating at night. Hirers should be advised of this by the yards as part of their handover. We know hire yards also stop later arrivals leaving the yards until the morning if sunset is approaching.

Rangers undertake at least one later patrol per fortnight and will give advice to any boaters still out on the rivers around this time. Those boaters found to be navigating beyond this time may also be given a written warning with the possibility on prosecution depending on the circumstances.

If hire boats are seen navigating after dark or speeding, please report the details to Broads Control (Tel: 01603 756056) to include name and number of the boat, and Rangers can follow up/ investigate as appropriate as well as raising the issue with the relevant hire yard.

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Q.16 The B.a.'s report on hire boats highlights the loss of vessels from the hire fleet and the subseqent loss of revenue this incurs but at the same time has in effect again reduced the hire boat multiplyer, hire boats use the system far more than the average hirer and as the hire fleet boats seem to be getting ever longer they are putting more and more pressure on a decreasing number of 24 hour moorings particularly those close to facilities. Is it not time that the B.A. stop pandering to these obviously very rich companies and stop asking the private owners to subsidise them?

A. Yes you are correct. Table 2 of the Tolls Working Group report on page 3 shows the number of hired motor cruisers over the last 9 years and at 789 for this year we are at the lowest figure for well over 30 years. In the early 1980s there were over 2,000!

The proposal in the Working Group report is to do away with a specific multiplier and for next year maintain the contribution from the hire fleet next year in line with the current income. The Group also examined the basis for the toll in detail and concluded that “the payment of a toll buys a time-limited right of access to the waterways” (Page 12) and that the charges should not be linked to usage.

Yes, the recent investment by the boatyards has included very large well-appointed boats. Under the proposals they will see a £65-£75 increase in tolls.
My impression is that the industry includes companies of very different sizes, overheads and performance and we have to take that into account.

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Q.17 My question is about the shortage of moorings now in horning ? Is there any plans to address this with the loss of Percy's island and opposite the ferry Inn

A. We are well aware of the demand for moorings in the Horning area but have found it really difficult to identify sites that could replace the moorings we have lost at Perci’s Island and Woodbastwick as there is not really any suitable river frontage available in the area.

We are working with the key stakeholder organisations to identify potential new mooring sites throughout the system and see if there is any way of increasing capacity at our existing sites.

As the Broads Authority does not own much land adjacent to the river we have to find landowners who are prepared to work with us and lease us land for the development of moorings and it is not always possible to do this.

We also have advice from the Navigation Committee that we should not lease land for the development of moorings if leasing the land would mean that we have to take on additional liability for piling or pay excessive rents.  We are therefore looking at whether alternative means of providing moorings can be used.

If any of the Forum Members have knowledge of potential new sites please let us know.

Supplementary question

Why  not purchase land instead. It's an appreciating asset and nature isn't making any more

Answer

If there were suitable land at a price we could afford we might but I am not sure that toll payers would want to see the kind of tolls increases that would be required to cover such expensive land purchases.

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Q.18 Is there any further development on Thurne mouth moorings returning for next year?

A. As a result of a planning agreement with the Authority 40 metres of river bank at Boundary Farm will be transferred to the ownership of  Broads Authority once the planning application works have commenced. We will then develop the site as a 24 hour mooring.

Separate negotiations are still underway with the landowner to renew a lease for Boundary Farm and Thurne Mouth sites. These negotiations have been protracted and complicated by the fact that the landowner wanted issues regarding the planning agreement, referred to above, sorted out before he would consider the lease of the other land.

Supplementary question

Wants issues regarding the above planning sorted out before negotiations on a further lease can take place sounds as though someone is holding a gun to someone's head, can we have an assurance that the Authority has not allowed this to influence their planning decisions?

Answer

Absolutely you can have assurance. We have kept the two elements separate precisely to avoid any issues.

We deliberately took the application to our Navigation Committee and our Planning Committee to ensure our decision was made in the public domain.

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(Limit reached for one post. Continued in following post...)

This message was edited by Paladine on Nov-4-16 @ 8:58 PM

Paladine
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(...continued)

Q.19 At the moment the Rangers and a large group of volunteers do a fantastic job of cutting back undergrowth, litter removal etc.

Does the BA take advantage of the Offenders program, where the offender can do community service. The company that now runs this are always looking for projects for their clients.

A. The Authority has worked with the prison service previously benefitting from labour from a number of low risk prisoners who have helped with practical works, for example the construction of St Benet's footpath. This kind of scheme is something that we'd be keen to explore again should the right kind of project and scheme arise.

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Q.20 During my many years of boating on the broads I find many of the signs are very dirty and in particular the bridge height markers at low water are unreadable, the one time when most boats need know what the level is, 1 or 2 inch makes a difference. can these be cleaned a few times a year? or can I put a tender in for the cleaning of all the broads navigational signage?

A. The Rangers clean all of the gauge boards a number of times over the season.  In the areas with the greatest build-up of silt, such as Breydon, these boards are cleaned monthly.  Cleaning the of the lowest part of the gauge boards this can sometimes be delayed while waiting for the tides to be favourable but will always endeavour to do this promptly.  Other signs are cleaned over the winter or as required over the summer.

It is not an easy job as I can verify from personal experience.

Supplementary question

I seem to remember, I may be wrong, but wasn't there an experiment to find signs that wouldn't clag up so much and be easier to maintain?

Answer

Yes Richard, we have tried a number of different materials but it a very hostile environment, with salt water, sediment, algae, bird poo etc. etc.

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Q.21 Whilst we (I) are pleased BA has joined the debate has there been any progress on boat waste at public moorings or is it likely to get worse as other councils remove provision.

A. I am pleased to say that the current talks to solve this thorny issue were instigated by us. The members of the Authority approved a draft policy on waste at its meeting on 30th September, which has identified the minimum provision necessary across the Broads to enable a strategic network to be retained, and enhanced where possible.

At the Authority’s request the local councils have agreed that they will support these sites through a partnership approach, and negotiations are underway with several parish councils to try and secure the way forward at a number of key sites.

We are hopeful therefore that there will be no further removal of sites, and the long term future of existing sites can be secured. The councils have also agreed that we should adopt a joined up approach in raising the issues with Defra when the waste regulations are reviewed, due in 2016, and we are pleased that through the recent discussions initiated by the Authority a better understanding of the issues has been reached by all parties and an agreed position adopted.

We are pleased to have had the support of both Brandon Lewis MP and Norman Lamb MP in dealing with this thorny issue.

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Q.22 If the BA continue with the proposed toll increase for next year, that will mean that my toll has increased by 22.5% in the last two years. How can the BA justify such an increase, especially against the backdrop of low wage increases and low inflation. Even the BA in their estimates are allowing for only a 1% increase in their own salary costs for next year. The 22.5% increase is also against a backdrop of reduced facilities around the network.

A. NOT ANSWERED ON THIS THREAD

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Q.23 Who do you report to and how and how often is your performance monitored.

A. I report to the Members of the Broads Authority. My annual targets are set by the Chairman at an annual appraisal which is undertaken on the same basis as for all members of staff. Performance against the targets is monitored on a regular basis.

The Broads Authority meets six times a year and at each meeting the Authority’s progress on a set of strategic priorities with milestones is assessed along with the financial performance against the latest available budget.

This year the priorities include: the Landscape Partnership Project, the delivery of the Hickling Enhancement Project and the delivery of the new Broads Plan which will set the objectives for the next five years.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Q.24 The group that would benefit most from the proposed new Tolls structure is the sailing fraternity, that is the group that would see the largest percentage of vessels pay less. This is a group that already pays less per square foot than the majority of other users, is it any coincidence that the bulk of the members of the Navigation Committe come from a sailing background.

What is the justification for the toll rate being less for a Yacht than it is for a Motor Cruiser when much of the expenditure (dredging, tree reduction on the banks, provision of demasting moorings etc) benefits the Yachting community far more than it does the motor community?

Supplementary question

Can I ask why the boat tolls for yacht's are not calculated to include that 'Jousting Pole'(Bowsprit) when it is that which takes up so much extra room at moorings?

A. NOT ANSWERED ON THIS THREAD

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Q.25 A comment on Angling Policy in a report to the Navigation Committee in 2010 reads:

"1.4 Angling Policy. Angling restrictions were introduced at identified problem
sites at Beccles, Bramerton, Postwick Wharf and Worlingham where angling
is banned from 16 June until 30 September each year. Initial reaction to the
ban was hostile but toward the latter half of the 2009 period the situation had
calmed significantly. Nine incidents were recorded in all but only one out of
the three latter incidents was reported as hostile."

What powers does the Broads Authority have to enforce such a ban?

A. As the leaseholder of mooring sites, or in the case of Postwick and Worlingham, the landowner, the Authority has the ability to manage what activity takes place on land under its control.

Where we have restricted angling access we have tried to make alternative provision for anglers.  At Worlingham we have installed 10 angling platforms adjacent to the mooring in partnership with the Environment Agency and at Postwick the Environment Agency has provided 23 angling pads upstream of the mooring.

Of the 66 24-hour moorings under the Authority’s control only at four is fishing not permitted. The majority of our moorings continue to be managed on the basis that anglers are welcome but must make way for boats wishing to moor.

In general we have few problems because many private boat owners either also enjoy angling or appreciate its importance in the Broads.

Supplementary question

That doesn't really answer my question, though. What actual power can the BA invoke? The bye laws don't contain any relevant power.

Scenario - angler is disobeying a 'No Fishing' sign at a BA mooring. No obstruction of vessels wishing to moor. What can a ranger actually do to enforce the policy?

A. While there might not be police or byelaw powers, the rangers have powers by virtue of the Broads Authority's land ownership or lease rights. We also have a good relationship with Broads Beat who can help with any issues.

Supplementary question

You mean the laws of trespass. Am I right in thinking that the rangers would only be able to request that the angler desists and would be powerless if the request was ignored. The Police can only become involved if there is a criminal offence being committed or about to be committed. Trespass is a civil offence.

A. NO FURTHER ANSWER GIVEN








"..for the avoidance of any doubt, the broads are not legally a national park and do not come under the national park legislation, and nor will they."
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for DEFRA (Hansard 2015)


This message was edited by Paladine on Nov-4-16 @ 9:23 PM

Richard
Nov-05-2016 @ 8:37 PM                           Permalink
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Pally,

Many thanks for the synopsis, much appreciated.

Cheers

Richard


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