AGM Chairman’s Report 2011
Intro Welcome to the 2011 AGM of the Millbrook Lake Mooring Association.
We really appreciate you coming and taking an interest in proceedings. The committee is here to give an account of itself and to defend its many decisions. Some of you may not necessarily agree with all those decisions but be assured, they were only made after much research and healthy discussion.
Change of Personnel You will have noticed the change of personnel. Early in the year Roger Evans retired as Treasurer after many years service and a little while afterwards Chris Gaulton resigned as Chairman. Letters of appreciation were sent to both Chris and Roger but I would like to take this opportunity of publicly expressing our thanks to both for the work done over many years. Chris in particular for holding the organisation together and helping to secure the new Lease over many years of negotiation. After 2 months as Treasurer I was invited to become Chairman, which I accepted and Bruce became Treasurer.[Bruce has been called away to Cheshire this week but Robert has kindly volunteered to step in] The Board co-opted James Buss to keep our numbers up and this meeting will hopefully fill the remaining vacancy
As the new Chairman I have made it my business to study the past history of the MLMA and have waded through plies of letters and past documents. I sought, together with Bryan our Secretary, an early meeting with Roger Halliday, Land Steward of the Duchy. This was very fruitful and he reminded us of our powers and responsibilities under the Lease. It may be useful to note here that retaining local control over the administration of the Lake and representing members interests comes at a price. The obligations that arise from the Lease are onerous and influence our policies both now and in the future and emphasize the need for adequate funds if we are to take our responsibilities seriously.
Let me deal with some of the issues, which have occupied us in the past year.
- Website. This year we have set up a web site. Mlma.co.uk. The aim is to disseminate information, news, and policies to the wider membership. You will find Photos of lake life, articles and Lease Clauses. Any ideas are welcome. We are indebted to Peter Walker, a fellow member for helping us with this project. We have set up a computer for those of you unfamiliar with the site.
2. Rental Agreement As a result of Foss Quay and the Duchy coming to an agreement in 2010 after many years of legal work, the way was clear for the MLMA to formulate a more equitable rent regime for the commercial operators on the Lake. A lot of time and effort went into the measuring of the shoreline and existing pontoons at the various marinas. Southdown was used as a benchmark. After difficult negotiations, a formula was presented to Pip and Darren which was accepted and signed. This will result in a fairer rent regime for marina operators and also includes a rent rate for new pontoons for which consent has been given.
3. Bank Funds The Board has decided to be more proactive with the funds at our disposal. £20,000 has been put into 2* 5 year fixed interest funds with the United Trust Bank. These funds will secure between £3000 and £4000 interest.
More details from Robert later.
4. Beach Area Project The Beach Area near the Dam has long been a village eyesore, boats and trailers have been dumped and been disintegrating for years. There were health and safety issues and incidents of petty vandalism. The Environmental Agency was approached and after some patient communication by Bryan the MLMA was granted an annual Lease for £1 and arrangements made for clearing the site. Boat owners were given due notice and eventually the Agency came and cleared the site of derelict boats and rubbish. They did a great job for nothing. The Board were determined to organise the site and provide durable security in the form of SS railings and to prevent any more dumping. We have kept costs to a minimum by using our own labour. A special thanks goes to Tony for fashioning the SS railings and Patrick for entertaining us on the hired digger.
Patrick will give details of how the site will be administered.
5. Southdown As the year progressed it was apparent that a problem was emerging at Southdown. A pontoon complex had materialised in 2007 extending from the old sea wall across Duchy fundus and onto MOD fundus. This fundus was part of a SSSI. Appropriate licences including consent from MLMA were not obtained and this summer the MPC, Southdown and the MOD and Duchy were issued with Court Enforcement Orders. In effect the pontoons had to be removed and it was the MLMA’s responsibility to see to it as regards the Duchy fundus. Several meetings were held with Shawn Huggins. He has appealed against the decision but we have received a written assurance that if his appeal fails he will not involve the MPC/MLMA in costs and will remove relevant pontoons.
6. Terms and Conditions The Board is determined to learn the lessons of this issue. New Marina T & C have been drawn up which reflect MLMA Ltd obligations under the 2005 Lease. The new Marina Licence Application will include a Declaration to be signed by the operator that ALL relevant licences have been obtained. NB Clause 4.13 Lease. The situation is further complicated by the fact that all structures, Inc pontoons, require a licence from the Government body, The Marine Management Organisation. We have sought legal advice and been assured that the Declaration will prevent the MPC/MLMA from being pursued by the MMO in the event of an operator not having the appropriate licence despite his signature.
7. Marina Policy Document The Board has drawn up a definitive Policy Document aimed at Marinas particularly in respect of pontoons. In conclusion it should be noted that all encroachments on the Lake [including those of commercial operators] have to have the consent of the MLMA and appear on the annual licence issued. This is an obligation under the Lease.
8. Pollution One of our responsibilities under the Lease [Clause 4.7] is to take reasonable steps to prevent pollution of the Lake. When the finances of the MLMA were divided into Admin fund and the Community Fund over a decade ago, the objectives of the Community Fund were clearly defined. [2002 Constitution of the Association] 1.Provide sufficient funds to protect the Duchy fundus against encroachments and provide the MPC with a minimum of £5000 for legal actions and 2. investment in the Lake. BUT also and I quote “If it should be the case that items 1 & 2 above have been reasonably satisfied a donation could be made for the benefit of the Millbrook Community” This sentiment is expressed in more poetic language in the MLMA Ltd Constitution by “In carrying out the aforesaid objects, the Company shall have regard to promoting the physical, mental and spiritual well being of the community.” With this mind the Board have decided to allocate £1300 to help provide a new durable septic tank for the Football Club. To ensure no further contamination of the Lake in that area. We have received estimates and assurances from the club. Mike Bailey writes on behalf of the football club,
“Once again on behalf of the Millbrook AFC Community Club committee I would like to thank the MLMA for their kind offer of help toward this project, funds these days are very hard to come by and it is help from within the community, like yourselves, that keeps local facilities like ours running”
We have invited you to consider a further contribution and have included a motion on the Agenda to that effect. That is for this meeting to decide.
9. Responder Continuing this theme The Board has invited Bob Gaskin a representative of the Responder Service to give a short address. Time will be allotted for questions and comments before the motion A will be put to the vote. If passed Motion B will be put forward and the final decision on the amount being decided by the whole membership. Please remember when you ponder this motion that anyone of us may need this service in the future.
CONCLUSION After hearing the Officer Reports there will a time for comments, questions and issues that you may wish to raise. Please be assured that your opinions will be noted and form part of our discussions in the future. In conclusion I would like to seek your cooperation in ensuring a successful and good-natured meeting. For the benefit of both newcomers and oldcomers could I please remind you of certain Ground rules, which will help, achieve this objective.
- I would ask members to ‘speak through the Chair’ when wishing to address the meeting.
- Please put your hand up and identify yourself if you want to contribute.
- Please listen patiently and do not interrupt other people
- Please do not engage in crossfloor argument or discussion.
- Keep contributions short and to the point so that other people can have a say.
- Thankyou for listening patiently.