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Agenda Item No.                

 

CARDIFF BAY ADVISORY COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of the annual meeting held on 19th September, 2012.

 

Present:

 

Councillor L. Burnett

Vale of Glamorgan Council

Mrs. C. Dimond

Cardiff Flood Action Committee

Mr. J. Harrison

Environment Agency Wales

Councillor D. Huw Thomas

Cardiff Council

Councillor G. Roberts

Penarth Town Council

 

Also present:

 

Mr. S. Howell

Cardiff Harbour Authority

Mr. C. Hope

Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

(a)       Appointment of Chairman -

 

AGREED – T H A T Councillor L. Burnett be appointed Chairman for the ensuing Municipal year.

 

Councillor Burnett took the Chair.

 

 

(b)       Appointment of Vice-Chairman -

 

AGREED – T H A T Mrs. C. Dimond be appointed Vice-Chairman for the ensuing Municipal year.

 

 

(c)        Apologies for Absence -

 

These were received from Mr. M. Chidlow (Harbour Master), Councillor A. Govier (Cardiff Council), Dr. S. Howard (Countryside Council for Wales), Mr. S. Jones (Quay Marinas Ltd.) and Ms. S. Newbold (British Marine Federation / CBYC / RYA).

 

 

(d)       Minutes -

 

AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 15th March, 2012 be accepted as a correct record.

 

 

(e)       Navigational Safety – Cardiff Harbour Authority - Mr. Simon Howell –

 

SWF&R vessel had arrived in Cardiff, and staff training had been undertaken.  The pontoon installation should be undertaken in the next month which would enable the vessel to then be fully operational in Cardiff Bay.  The RNLI had decided to delay a decision on whether to site a vessel inside the Bay and would support the RNLI vessel from their current base in Penarth.  This would be reviewed next year.

 

An incident occurred in April when a number of “optimist” sailing dinghies from Cardiff Bay Yacht Club were sailing close to the Barrage sluice boom during a draw down operation. This involved the sluices being opened to reduce the water level in the Bay and around 500 tonnes of water a second was being discharged out of the sluices following a period of tide lock and heavy rainfall.  Barrage control were unable to contact the Club’s training staff and as a result had to stop the draw down operation.

 

Although no accident occurred, the Yacht Club were advised to ensure that all their safety boats involved in similar events carry VHF radios and at least one monitors VHF Channel 18 (Barrage Control).  The Club’s activity risk assessment was also reviewed to ensure that it took account of water conditions such as sluice operation during draw down operations in future.  The use of VHF radios by safety boats and the monitoring of VHF Channel 18 by all users was also strongly recommended to all other clubs and Bay users following this incident.

 

 

(f)         Progress Update - Cardiff Harbour Authority - Mr. Simon Howell -

 

There had been no major water quality issues over the Spring and Summer periods with oxygen levels over 99.9% compliant with the 100mg standard over that period and no algal blooms observed.  This had been helped by the very wet Summer although this had increased debris volumes brought into the Bay.

 

By the end of September over 200 tonnes of debris would have been removed from the Bay, which is significantly higher than for the same period last year when 23 tonnes were removed.

 

39 swans died in Cardiff Bay and Roath Park Lake this Summer, which was over 10% of the resident population in these areas.  When five or more dead birds are identified in an area, post mortem testing is initiated because of the risk of avian bird flu.  The tests showed that the deaths were mainly caused by a duck related virus and therefore avian flu was ruled out as the cause.

 

Migratory fish numbers trapped at Radyr Weir had continued to improve this year following the best year on record last year.  103 salmon had been trapped so far this year compared to 78 in 2011 and sea trout figures are 49 compared to 21 last year.

 

The Barrage had operated effectively over the Summer period and the second dredging campaign of the year was completed in August.  Some locking restrictions were imposed over the past two months to deal with some emergency repairs to the bascule bridges.  Some cracking to steel beams on the bridges was identified in April and temporary repairs had been undertaken.  The permanent repairs to the bridges would be undertaken starting in October / November and should be completed by March.

 

The Summer events went well this year, with highlights being the World Cup canoe slalom event, the Home Nations Rowing Championships, the International Food and Drink Festival and the Harbour Festival with the Extreme Sailing Series.  This was the first of three years that Cardiff had secured this event and it was estimated that it attracted over 35,000 visitors over the four days of competition.  The organisers, competitors and visitor feedback had been excellent and the event would develop further over the next two years.

 

 

(g)       Update Report - Environment Agency – Mr. John Harrison -

 

Mr. Harrison provided a brief overview of the role of the Environment Agency, i.e.

 

Ø    It acts as a partner with the Harbour Authority in that the two organisations possessed shared values and desired outcomes, namely a better quality environment and habitat for the residents and wild life.  As such, the water quality levels had exceeded expectations.

Ø    The Environment Agency had a regulatory role to ensure that:

-               the Harbour Authority met its obligations

-               any pollution incidents involving the Rivers Ely and Taf were dealt with.

Ø    The Environment Agency also had a role as contractor in that it provided a service for monitoring the health of the fish stock and also monitoring the numbers of salmon.

 

Mr. Harrison advised that the Environment Agency took any reported incidents of pollution seriously.  It was fortunate that there had been no incident of major pollution in the area. 

 

Mr. Harrison advised of a number of recent pollution-related incidents, namely

 

-               An area of the Ely River had been boomed-off whilst a ship had been towed out of the Harbour.

-               A further incident involved a land-based waste disposal site based on the River Ely.  The operators had not met the Environment Agency’s requirements.  The Company had been sold to new owners who were putting the Environment Agency’s requirements into place.

-               A further pollution incident involved mis-connections of the drainage system at an apartment block within the Harbour.  An investigation of how this came to occur was being carried out. 

 

Finally, Mr. Harrison advised that the Environment Agency and the Countryside Council would be merged into a new Environmental Body for Wales.  The Body would exist from 1st April 2013 and would bring a new approach to the handling of environmental issues in Wales.

 

AGREED – T H A T a report be brought before a future meeting of the Advisory Committee outlining the aims and powers of the new Environmental Body.

 

 

(h)        Information Report - Cardiff International Sports Village -

 

The report had been presented to the Executive of Cardiff Council on 5th April 2012 with approval being sought for the approval of the Heads of Terms in respect of Phase 2 of the Waterfront at Cardiff International Sports Village.

 

AGREED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted.

 

 

(i)            Date of Next Meeting –

 

AGREED – T H A T the next meeting be held on Wednesday, 21st November, 2012 at 5.00 p.m. in the Cardiff Harbour Authority Offices.

 

 

 

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