NSBA’s General Purposes Committee on-line meeting of Tuesday 1 September 2020

Navigation Committee

NSBA to raise the following issues with BA’s NavCom, by letter beforehand and with an attending observer:–

  • Acle Bridge and the potential use of the BA’s Capital Reserves for which there are concerns over the split of funding between National Parks Grant (60%) and Navigation Fees Income (40%);  car parks and café should be funded outside of Navigation moneys;
  • Mutford lock closure during high season was deplored;
  • Likewise Scare Gap demasting mooring also subject to maintenance during high season

A rota of attendee representatives from NSBA at NavCom to be drawn up.

Communicator Role

The search for a candidate for the ‘Communicator’ position has been difficult, however a recent strong application is being processed.  A new appointment should see significant and earliest improvement of our website and links to social media.

Hoveton Great Broad

Associated issues remain of great concern for lack of boating access and synthetic barriers to fish movement.  As a known fish breeding ground, the fishing fraternity is taking a very strong stance and this should be actively supported, also with letters to prominent decision makers.

Bridges

Programmes of planned work on railway bridges over the next three winters has been circulated and recognised for the focus on lowest boating season;  this is a welcome outcome of NSBA’s direct liaison with Network Rail.

The existing outline plan for Trowse railway swing-bridge to be replaced with a fixed span is recognised to include a compensatory new marina downstream with according communication links to the city centre (footpath, cycleway, taxi and bus rank);  within some environments this part of the plan has been lost or softened and this must be reinforced at every conceivable opportunity.

Tolls

Canoes, kayaks and SUPs (light craft) are perceived easily to fall between gaps in the Tolls structure.  The perception is that owners of sailing craft and motorboats effectively subsidise use of the waterways by some light craft users;  there may be some inequality between members of British Canoeing who do not have to register their light craft with the BA for use on the Broads or pay tolls or display registration marks, and other users.  Marking and/or recording of toll compliance needs an overhaul such that non-compliant users can easily and quickly be identified.

Spot-Plot-Report-Record

Merchant Navy Association Boat Club (MNABC) has introduced a system of coastal Spot-Plot-Report-Record which is being trialed in East Anglia as an inland activity.  This scheme should be supported strongly and encouraged particularly amongst the motor-boating community who may often have a better ad-hoc platform from which to report.  Reports of incidents can be made to the Coastguard and in the case of The Broads to Broads Control, however, additionally NSBA would welcome all information as supporting data for identifying recurring hot spots or issues.

Committee Duties

There are many liaisons with other bodies which NSBA carries out and hence areas of responsibility rightly need to be shared amongst our volunteer committee;  each member will take on an area of special interest and act as the focal point in representing NSBA.

Other reports

Infrastructure Projects –  Lowestoft 3rd Crossing (approved) and Gt.Yarmouth 3rd Crossing (under consideration).

Whelpton Trophy -for deserving international/national racing achievement is held in abeyance for 2020.

Bridges Works – Simultaneous Works at Gt.Yarmouth and at Oulton Broad have locked access between the Broads and the North Sea;  on occasion this has included Works at Somerleyton and Mutford swing bridges;  there must be greater liaison between operators and some system of coordination introduced for which either NSBA or BA are well placed.

Haven Bridge – is out of action following an HSE cessation notice.  There have been group discussions between the owner (Norfolk County Highways), the operator (PeelPorts), the Broads Authority and affected boaters and commercial plaintiffs.  Some delegate organisations appear not fully to recognise that legally by Statute the navigation has priority,  even to the extent that Solicitor opinion has suggested that water users do not have rights to the navigation,  also therewith not involving appropriate level of strategic personnel;  this must be addressed and if necessary call upon RYA(legal) to bear pressure.

Peto’s Marsh  – at Carlton Nature Reserve is to get a new pontoon access for boaters along Oulton Dyke;  while this will be funded out of navigation income, it is fully recognised that the payback of accessible spoil dumping into an area of the marsh from dredgings creates a win for all parties;  effectively a spend-to-save by the BA.  NSBA’s representation on positioning of the new pontoon (with input from sailing club and commercial river users) has been taken positively.

Broads Authority Budgets – following NSBA’s representation regarding the manner in which dredging forecast budget and in-year spend outturn are reported, any mismatch of included items will be scrutinised and mitigated at BA.

Glover – the Government’s response to the Glover investigation into Landscape usage and supporting funding is expected during autumn 2020 (subject to Covid delays).  NSBA will doubtless have some issues to raise and needs to investigate the feedback opportunities.

The Green Book 2021 –  was discussed as to how much edit and renewal there might be following this 2020 Covid year.  While boating on the Broads has been significantly affected, it was felt that there remained sufficient scope to continue with normal editorial process and introduce new material as appropriate.  Further key issues are to be debated amongst the committee by email as well as the annual Fixtures Meeting perhaps being held on-line.  Clubs use of their own dedicated spaces within NSBA’s website needs to be promulgated to key club personnel.

Meetings

Following considerable issue with individuals’ access to the online platform for conducting this meeting it was felt that a timely in-person meeting would be welcome;  a suitable venue to be sought which can accommodate social distancing for the committee.

This also raised the question over what form the 2020 AGM should take if it takes place;  it was suggested that a suitable venue for social distancing be appropriate, in conjunction with an online facility for those who felt apprehensive about attendance but nevertheless wished for inclusion.

Date of next meeting

Monday 19 October 2020

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